Saturday, June 19, 2010

New Mexico rodeo team heals, succeeds after losing teammate

A season that began with such promise ended before the first rodeo. Megan McCain, a fiercely competitive and loyal teammate on the Mesalands Community College rodeo team, was traveling with teammates Angela Stash, Daphne Wehrs and Amber Miller on Aug. 21, 2009, on Interstate 40 near Bushland, Texas. A promising year that would eventually lead to Casper was changed when their Dodge pickup was struck head-on by a vehicle traveling the wrong way on the Texas Panhandle freeway. Seat belts helped save the lives of Stash, Wehrs and Miller. It wasn't enough to save the 20-year-old McCain. In the aftermath, Mesalands landed a new identity. "It definitely brought the team together," Mesalands coach C.J. Aragon said. "It was almost like rodeo took a back seat to everything else in the fall, because the kids were just taking care of each other." Aragon has six athletes -- all healing and all improving -- here for the College National Finals Rodeo and a dedicated group of fans at home in the tiny community of Tucumcari, N.M...more

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