NORTH PLATTE, Neb - Two members of the Mid-Plains Community College Rodeo Team have qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo, and the MPCC Stampede has been named Regional Rodeo of the Year.
The news follows the final competition of the season for the Great Plains Region – the Nebraska Cornhusker Rodeo hosted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Friday and Saturday in Lincoln.
The CNFR qualifiers are: Kaden Wooters, of Elwood, who’s sitting third in the region and 14th in the nation in the steer wrestling, and Maggie Underhill, of Hill City, Kan., who is third in the regional standings in barrel racing. They will represent Mid-Plains in Casper, Wyo. June 11-17.
Wooters also earned the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s Patty Skogen Memorial Award over the weekend. The award is given to two student athletes who have qualified for the CNFR, are members of the NIRA in good standing, show their love of rodeo, demonstrate characteristics of determination, grit, kindness and overcoming obstacles and have a welcoming attitude. Wooters will be presented with a $1,000 scholarship for his efforts at the CNFR.
As with the Regional Rodeo of the Year Award, recipients of the Patty Skogen Memorial Award are voted on by regional coaches and contestants.
“I’m very proud of our team this year and of our CNFR qualifiers and their seasons,” said MPCC Rodeo Team timed event coach Wyatt Clark. “I’m also very excited for their performances in Casper. Coach [Aukai] Kaai and I are honored with the Regional Rodeo of the Year award. Our team, Mid-Plains Community College and supporting communities should be very proud of this award and the work put into the rodeo. We look forward to Casper in June and to a summer recruiting and preparing for our season next fall.”
Results from Lincoln
MPCC finishes the year fourth in the men’s team standings and fifth in the women’s team standings, thanks in part to a plethora of points collected in Lincoln.
The men’s team came away from the Nebraska Cornhusker Rodeo with the reserve championship – bolstered primarily by the efforts of its tie-down ropers, team ropers and steer wrestlers.
Barrett Schlieker won the average in the tie-down roping for Mid-Plains. He was first in the short-go with a time of 10.2 seconds, then followed that up with a 12.1 second run for third place in the long-go.
Wooters’ time of 5 flat in the steer wrestling short-go propelled him to second in the average. Kunkee and Nick Rettinger were fourth and sixth, respectively, in the steer wrestling.
Dalton Kunkee and Troy Kirkpatrick’s 8.6 second run in the team roping short-go helped them take second in the average. Schlieker and Jace Richter were sixth while Rettinger and his team roping partner from Mitchell Technical College, Tucker Even, ended up ninth.
There will be a send-off for MPCC’s CNFR qualifiers tomorrow. The event is open to the public.
It will be 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center on the McCook Community College campus.
Hamburgers and bratwurst will be served for a free-will donation.