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NMSU rodeo team demonstrates consistent talent

The New Mexico State University rodeo team placed well during the second weekend of competition this spring at two Central Arizona College National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) rodeos March 14-15 in Florence, Ariz.



(Top) New Mexico State University rodeo team member Kelsi Elkins, of Aztec, N.M., won the women's all-around for the Central Arizona College National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) rodeo. (Bottom) New Mexico State University rodeo team member Wyatt Althoff, of Gilbert, Ariz., won the men's all-around at two separate Central Arizona College National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) rodeos. (NMSU photos by J. Victor Espinoza)

During the first rodeo, both the men's and the women's team won first place. Each team placed more than 450 points above their closest competitor. The teams placed second during Sunday's rodeo.

"These were outstanding performances by the NMSU rodeo athletes. The first rodeo was great for us and helped build our lead in the region in the men's and women's team standings. The second rodeo we had some tough luck in some events that cost us a follow-up win, but we still managed to place solidly in some events," said Jim Dewey Brown, NMSU rodeo coach.

On Saturday, Kelsi Elkins, of Aztec, N.M., won first in the breakaway roping, with teammate Katie Hooper, of Lamoille, Nev., placing third.

In the barrel racing, Elkins and Jordan Bassett, of Dewey, Ariz., received first and second, respectively.

Brittany Striegel, of Aztec, N.M., won first in the goat tying event. Elkins placed third, and Staci Stanbrough, of Capitan, N.M., placed third.

For the men's team, Dean Daly, of Belen, N.M., placed first in the saddlebronc event, and Daniel Orris, of Durango, Colo., placed third.

Alamo, Nev., native Chad Steele received third in the bull riding.

Wyatt Althoff, of Gilbert, Ariz., and Johnny Salvo, of Horse Springs, N.M., won first and second, respectively, in the tie-down roping event. In the team roping, with Althoff heading and Salvo heeling, the pair placed second.

Althoff was named the men's all-around champion for the rodeo. Elkins received the women's all-around honor.

During the second rodeo, Elkins placed third in the barrel racing event. Bassett placed second in the goat tying.

Clay Geronimo, of Mescalero, N.M., won first in the bareback riding. Daly won first in the saddlebronc riding, with teammate Steve Hacker, of Battle Mountain, Nev., placing third.

Althoff received second place in the tie-down roping. Dustin Wilson, of Browning, Mont., placed second in the steer wrestling.

The team of Aaron Moyers, of Moriarty, N.M., and Dustin Hintz, from Central Arizona College, won first in the team roping. Althoff and Salvo placed third.

Althoff received the men's all-around honor for the rodeo.

The next NIRA rodeo will be held at the Navajo Technical Institute in Crownpoint, N.M., April 10-11.