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NMSU men's rodeo team dominates roping events

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. - Top finishes in calf roping, team roping and saddle bronc riding cinched first-place for the New Mexico State University men's rodeo team at the first competition of the season at Cochise College Sept. 22-23.

"The men's team really shined at this rodeo as well as several new recruits," said NMSU Coach Jim Dewey Brown. "I look forward to the season and hope that this win will be the first of many. Although the women's team placed fourth, I feel we will be back on top very soon as we focus on the next few rodeos."

Aggies took the four top slots in calf roping, led by returning standout Wacey Walraven. Second place went to Chance Means, a College National Finals Rodeo winner last year in team roping who joined the NMSU team this year. Kevin Lozares was third and Matt Garza, Means' team-roping partner at the CNFR, was fourth.

In team roping competition, Aggie Aaron Moyers was first among headers, followed by fellow NMSU team members JoDan Mirabal, second; Jacob Livingston, third; Daniel Scalva, fourth; and Garza, fifth. Top heelers for NMSU were Aaron Shelley, second; Lozares, third; and Means, fifth.

Earning points for NMSU in saddle bronc riding were Charles Allen, first; Dean Daly, third; and Nathan Brown, fifth.

NMSU women also did well, especially in goat tying: Jonna Bizzell took first, Megan Corey was second and Bailey Gow finished fifth.

Allen also earned men's All-Around honors for NMSU, while Aggie Dusti Franklin was the top in All-Around for the women.

In steer wrestling, NMSU's Tanner Robinson was second and J.W. Nicholson was fourth. Aggie Daniel Etsitty took fourth in bareback riding.

NMSU's Joni Brakebill was second in breakaway roping, followed by Franklin in fourth. In barrel racing, NMSU's Callie Rios was third and Staci Stanbrough was fifth.

The NMSU team will host its fall rodeo this weekend at the Southern New Mexico Fairgrounds, just west of Las Cruces, on Sept. 29 and 30. The Southern New Mexico State Fair and "College" Rodeo kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday. NMSU Rodeo also is proud to present "Whiplash the Cowboy Monkey," performing live during the rodeo, Brown said. A slack performance will be at 9 a.m. Saturday, followed by the top 10 short round finals at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Darrell J. Pehr
Sept. 28, 2006