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NMSU women's rodeo team places in top 10 nationally

The New Mexico State University rodeo team proved to be nationally competitive during the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) June 14-20 in Casper, Wyo.



New Mexico State University rodeo athlete Johnny Salvo, of Horse Springs, N.M., placed third in the tie-down roping event at the College National Finals Rodeo June 14-20 in Casper, Wyo. (NMSU photo by J. Victor Espinoza)

"I am pleased with our performance at the CNFR. We had some individual triumphs and heartbreaks, but all in all NMSU showed that we are tough and we will be back stronger next year," said Jim Dewey Brown, NMSU rodeo coach.

To qualify for the CNFR, a student must place in the top three in their event in the region, or place in the top two in the all-around standings. NMSU sent 11 athletes to the rodeo, with several team members placing in the top 20 in the overall standings, and others placing in the top 20 in different rounds.

"To have the women's team win reserve champion last year and place in the top 10 this year is a great performance by the team. Also, to have Johnny Salvo place in the tie-down roping again this year speaks loads about his roping ability," said Frank DuBois, founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.

In the final standings, the women's team placed sixth overall and the men's team placed 13th.

Johnny Salvo, of Horse Springs, N.M., placed third in the tie-down roping.

Jordan Bassett, of Dewey, Ariz., placed sixth in barrel racing and 13th in goat tying, giving her enough points to receive fourth place in the women's rookie standings.

Megan Wilkerson placed 15th in the breakaway roping. She tied for second in the first round and tied for third in the second round of the event.

Aztec, N.M., native Kelsi Elkins placed second in the second round of the barrel racing, and teammate Dean Daly, of Belen, N.M., placed second in round three of the saddle bronc event.