Writer: D'Lyn Ford
LAS CRUCES -- Steer wrestler C.J. Aragon from New Mexico State University finished as runner-up Saturday in the College National Finals Rodeo held in Rapid City, S.D. NMSU team roper Trey Miller, competing with a student from another university, placed fourth in the final standings.
To qualify for the championship round of competition on June 20, Aragon and Miller's total times for the first three rounds had to be in the top 12.
Travis Goad of Oklahoma Panhandle State University won the national championship in steer wrestling with a total time of 22.5 seconds for four runs. Aragon was next with 27.5 seconds, edging out Monty Williams of South Dakota State by three-tenths of a second.
Nicknamed the "little big man" at 5 feet 9 inches tall and 175 pounds, Aragon ranked first or second in the national college standings much of the season. This was his final year of college rodeo eligibility. Aragon's family lives in Belen.
In team roping, NMSU's Miller and Ned Kiehne of Central Arizona College finished four runs in 32.7 seconds for fourth place. The pair led the competition going into the final performance, but dropped three places in the standings after the final run.
Miller, an Arizonan whose family owns three gold national championship buckles, had hoped to bring home a fourth. The sophomore was competing in his third national college finals.
Brian Dunning and Travis Goad of Panhandle State finished first in team roping with a total time of 24.9 for four runs. Panhandle State won the men's team competition.
Often called the "Rose Bowl" of college rodeo, the National Finals hosts 350 cowboys and cowgirls each June. These athletes compete for national titles and more than $200,000 in scholarships.
For more information about the NMSU men's and women's rodeo teams, contact Joe Armstrong at (505) 646-1242.
© 2013 New Mexico State University Board of Regents
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