Mid-Plains Community College will send a record number of contestants to the College National Finals Rodeo this year.

Nine MPCC rodeo team members will compete at the CNFR in Casper, Wyo. June 10-16. Those include the team’s first woman CNFR qualifier, Mykelsi Schnose, as well as the now two-time regional bull riding champ Garrett Wickett.

Altogether, the delegates consist of:

Garrett Wickett, Norfolk – bull riding

Mykelsi Schnose, Oelrichs, S.D. – breakaway roping

Reed Murray, of Belvue, Kan., and Lane Kennedy, of Orleans – team roping

Chandler Comfort, Elwood, and Wyatt Killion, Ainsworth – team roping

Sawyer Strand, Harrisburg, S.D.  – steer wrestling

Tyler Murray, McCook – steer wrestling

Riley Weehler, Maloy, Iowa – calf roping

Overall, MPCC will enter nationals second in the Great Plains Region in the men’s team standings and third in the women’s team standings.

“We finished second in the men’s team standings by 36 points. That’s less than one go-round win by one person,” said Dustin Elliott, MPCC Rodeo Team rough stock coach. “Of course every year you want to win, but sending more contestants to nationals is proof that our program is going in the right direction. And, to send our first girl to the CNFR – that’s pretty awesome.”

Schnose rounded out the season third in the breakaway roping. Her efforts are largely what propelled MPCC to its third place finish in the women’s team standings.

“I was really happy for Mykelsi,” said Garrett Nokes, MPCC Rodeo Team timed event coach. “She’s one of the hardest workers, and I really respect her try and ability. She had a terrible fall, never even scored a point, and it was really getting her down. Then, over the winter, she put in a lot of work and went to a couple clinics. That extra effort paid off in getting her to the CNFR.”

It’s the second year in a row that Wickett has been at the top of the leaderboard going into the bull riding at the national finals. He ended the season with 546 points – 66 points ahead of second place finisher Hunter Draeger of Iowa Central Community College.

“To me, as a coach, that feels pretty good,” Elliott said. “Wickett could have left the program after he got his degree, but he chose to come back for a third year to gain more experience. To see him be successful like that is big because I watched him grow. He’s got the opportunity to go on to the next level, and I’m glad he won.”

A send-off celebration is planned for the team from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 6 at Schmick’s Market in McCook. Rib eye sandwiches, chips, cookies and a drink will be available for a free-will donation.

Pictured – Mykelsi Schnose, of Oelrichs, S.D., teaches a Kids Klub member how to rope at the Wild West Arena in North Platte. Schnose is the first woman to qualify for nationals as part of the Mid-Plains Community College Rodeo Team.