ALTA, IOWA, October 14, 2023—Mitchell’s Samantha Ford broke the ice for the Mitchell Tech Maverick women’s rodeo team last weekend at Beuna Vista University, with a third-place finish in breakaway roping.
“The season hadn’t been going the way I wanted it to, so it was good to finally get two good runs,” Ford said. “It was time that I could … just go rope like I know I can rope. Coming into the short go, I didn’t expect to win the whole thing. I just wanted to make two solid runs to end the fall season and ended up doing pretty well.”
Ford said she was more focused going into Beuna Vista and, atop her familiar roping horse, she found her groove.
“When I was warming my horse up, everything just felt right” for the first time all season. “I have been putting in the practice time all year, but I decided last rodeo to go back to my trusty rodeo horse that I high school rodeoed on, and it felt good to be back on my good horse.”
That change paid off, and Ford said she intends to stick with the plan in the spring.
“When you end on a good note, it gives you the confidence at the next spring rodeo to really do good,” she said.
The Beuna Vista capture put Ford just outside the top 15 standings in the Great Plains Region.
Saddle bronc rider Holden Eiseman of Mobridge held on to the win and currently sits second in the regional standings, while holding down fourth place nationally.
Bull rider Chazz Gabe of Timber Lake finished second at the rodeo and is third in the region and fifth nationally.
Both the men’s and women’s teams finished up at Beuna Vista in fifth place in the team side of competition.
After strong showings in all five rodeos, the Mitchell Tech Mavericks concluded their fall season strong. Regionally, the men’s team sits fifth, while the women’s team is in 10th place.
The Mavericks’ head coach, Jimmie Nicolaus, said he was pleased with the standings as they tied up the fall season.
“While there are still a lot of rodeos left in all 11 regions, the men’s team is placing 18th in the national standings, and we’ve been having a good year so far,” he said.
In the previous two rodeos, bull rider Jesse Kline of Hartford finished second in both the Iowa Central and Dickinson State rodeos. He’s currently ranked eighth in the region and 22nd in the nation. Steer wrestler Colt Dunkelberger of Huron came in fifth at Dickinson State.
Other rated Mavericks include:
- Bull rider Thane Keller of Timber Lake: 7th regionally; 19th nationally.
- Tie-down roper Cavin Olson of Princeton, Minn.: 13th regionally
- Team roping header Tyler Esser of Frankfort: 6th regionally
The spring season is slated to begin the first weekend of April, with the Mavericks hitting the road for Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.