Success seems to follow Tarleton State University tie-down roper Haven Meged.
The junior agriculture industries and agencies major from Miles City, Mont. posted a solid 10.3 clocking during Saturday’s championship finals to capture the first-place event buckle at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo.
In his second appearance at the CNFR after qualifying last year at Western Oklahoma State, he finished with a four-head total time of 36.7 seconds to lead the Tarleton men’s rodeo team to a sixth-place finish.
He is also fresh off the tie-down roping title in the National Circuit Finals Rodeo in Kissimmee, Fla., is currently fifth in the PRCA world standings and leads the PRCA Resistol Rookie of the Year standings for his event.
“Going in, you have to believe in yourself,” Meged said of his effort at the CNFR. “You have to do that to show enough to win first. That was my mindset the whole week.”
He finished the regular season in sixth place in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Southwest Region, claiming top honors at the Sul Ross State University rodeo and at Western Texas College, where he was also the all-around winner.
“He roped great all week,” said Tarleton rodeo coach Mark Eakin of Meged’s championship run through the CNFR. “He is a very focused and goal-minded athlete. He is very talented and we are very proud of him. “
Tarleton teammate Jhett Trenary finished fourth in team roping in Casper, combining with Dylan Jones of Clarendon College for a four-head total of 34.8 seconds.
Defending bareback champion Tyler Berghuis contributed eighth-place points to the Tarleton cause, accumulating 286 points on four rides, including a 77 on Saturday.
Tarleton’s Zach Kraus and South Plains College’s Hayden Cloward were 15th in team roping and saddle bronc rider Jake Barnes was 16th.
The Tarleton women captured third at the CNFR behind a fourth-place effort by barrel racer Maddy Dickens. Dickens’ 14.20 in the finals capped a four-run, 57.69 effort.
Rickie Engesser added a seventh-place finish in breakaway roping. In goat tying Mary Risse was 18th and Lariat Larner wound up 22nd.
“We are very proud of all our athletes that competed in the CNFR last week,” Eakin said. “We had six in the short go and ended up with one national champion.”
Meged becomes the 28th individual event champion from Tarleton including Berghuis last year and 2017 tie-down roper Reid Zapalac.
Tarleton also boasts three previous men’s national team titles and four women’s crowns.