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NMSU rodeo team competes in Tsaile, Arizona; Freshmen bring their game

The New Mexico State University rodeo team brought some heat to the game during the Dine College National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association rodeo Sept. 15-16 in Tsaile, Arizona.


Two men on horses rope a steer at a rodeo.
New Mexico State University Rodeo athletes Carl Sweazea, left, and Lucas Mckenzie make their run in the team roping event at the Tsaile, Arizona, college rodeo. (NMSU photo by Savannah Montero)
Man rides bucking horse coming out of shoot.
New Mexico State University Rodeo athlete Cauy Pool rides his bareback horse at the Tsaile, Arizona, college rodeo. (NMSU photo by Savannah Montero)
A woman stops her horse at full speed while throwing a loop on a calf during the college rodeo.
New Mexico State University Rodeo athlete Zoe Billings breakaway ropes at the Tsaile, Arizona, college rodeo. (NMSU photo by Savannah Montero)

“I am extremely proud of the freshmen,” said Logan Corbett, NMSU rodeo coach. “This first rodeo was new territory for them and they competed great.”

The NMSU men’s team placed second and the women’s team ended up obtaining third.

Broc Lindburg, freshman from Las Vegas, received first in the average of a long and short round in the saddle bronc riding event. Jace Cooley, senior bronc rider, finished second.

Cauy Pool, NMSU freshman, placed second in the bareback riding event.

“I did pretty good. I’ve been practicing and working out a ton in order to be competitive in college rodeo,” Pool said. “So, the fact that I got second at my first one really makes me confident for the season.” He explained that it was an awesome rodeo with great horses.

Derek Runyan, of Silver City, New Mexico, and Trevor Scott, of Twin Falls, Idaho, split fourth in a four-way draw in the tie-down roping average.

NMSU team roping partners Lucas Mckenzie and Carl Sweazea took second place in the average for the weekend.

Anna Barker, senior from Rochester, Washington, ran two quick barrel racing runs to end up splitting second overall for the first rodeo.

Hometown cowgirl of Las Cruces, New Mexico, Zoanne Billings won second in the breakaway roping during last week’s rodeo.

“It felt really good to place well this weekend,” Billings said. “I had been in a slump the past two seasons, so it gave me a big confidence boost to score and rope sharp and I am excited for the rest of the season.”

Lauren Kelsey, freshman of Oxford, Colorado, received fourth overall in the breakaway event.

Savannah Montero, senior of Winnemucca, Nevada, placed second in the goat tying competition.

“I was ecstatic with my two runs,” Montero said. “I tied two quick runs in the low sevens and my horse worked great. It is going to be a tough year in the goat tying event; there are tons of great competitors this season.”

Bailee Johnston, NMSU freshman, had a wild goat tying run during the first round. She said her horse ran left in order to avoid a collision with the goat, then the horse ran over Johnston.

“She stepped on my upper leg as she went over me and I got up to finish my run because I was always taught to keep going no matter what,” Johnston said. “My adrenaline helped me finish my run and I was glad I was able to do that, even though I was sore when I got out of the arena.”

Luckily, the team has their Student Athletic Trainer Michael Gregory attend the college rodeos.

“My goals for this season are mainly to do everything in my power to keep all of you healthy and competing,” Gregory said, “by providing treatment when needed and educating the athletes on how to manage injuries when we’re not at the events.”

The next NIRA rodeo will be held at Cochise College in Douglas, Arizona, Sept. 22-23.

For more information contact Corbett at lcorbett@nmsu.edu.