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Francis Marchand, Omak, competes at the New Mexico State University College Rodeo. Marchand, who won the rodeo with a 79-point ride, is the No. 1 ranked bull rider in the Grand Canyon Region.
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TUCUMCARI, N.M. - Francis Marchand, Omak, recently was named to the dean's list at Mesalands Community College, which he attends on a rodeo scholarship.
To make the dean's list, Mar-chand finished with a grade point average of 3.5 or better, completed 15 or more credit hours and had no grade below a C for the semester, coach C.J. Aragon said.
"Not bad," Aragon said of the freshman. "I am very proud of his accomplishments in the arena and in the classroom."
At the conclusion of the fall rodeo season in the Grand Canyon Region (New Mexico and Arizona), Marchand is winning the all-around and bull riding titles. He also is in the top six in the bareback riding and saddle bronc riding.
"I think of rough stock riding as an art," Marchand said. "I really wanted to try to win the all-around title this year. That is my goal."
Marchand's strongest competitor for the all-around title may be fellow freshman J2 Bridges from Idaho. Marchand said the competitive nature at practice helps keep him riding strong.
The college's rodeo team has two of the top six bareback riders in the region, two of the top four saddle bronc riders, and three of the top four bull riders at the half way point in the season.
"We have a great group of young rough stock riders this year at the school," Aragon said. "They are very competitive and push each other each day in the practice pen to get better.
"Our team has a lot of leaders this year," the coach said, pointing out that Marchand is one of the team leaders.
In the past, the team has been known for its timed-event competitors.
The team's goal is winning the Grand Canyon Region team championship. Mesalands is second after the fall season.
"The way we are working we have a shot at winning the region," Marchand said. "They are not going to give it to us. We have to keep working toward achieving our goals."
Marchand said his goal is to reach the College National Finals Rodeo in all three rough stock events.
"To do that, I just need to keep going and keep practicing hard," Marchand said.
"If Fran can stay healthy he has the potential to do some great things," Aragon said.
The college's rodeo team resumes competition in March with three rodeos in Arizona.
Marchand is no stranger to winning.
He finished eighth in saddle bronc during the final short go of the high school national rodeo July 25.
He was the state high school all-around champion and claimed state titles in saddle and bareback bronc riding last summer.
He also won the saddle bronc title at the Prospector's Days Rodeo in Republic, took the bareback title and all-around title at a high school rodeo in Okanogan and won the bareback title at Chesaw.
He scored 71 during an exhibition bull ride Saturday night during the Omak Stampede when only three PRCA riders showed.
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Chronicles of the Okanogan
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