Writer: D'Lyn Ford
LAS CRUCES - New Mexico State University's rodeo teams dominated a doubleheader in Snowflake, Ariz., with Cooper Wimberly and John Pete Etcheverry each winning a men's all-around title and Mandy Sproul capturing her second and third women's all-around titles of the season.
The NMSU men's team won both the Oct. 12 and Oct. 13 rodeos at Northland Pioneer College, and the women's team placed first, then second.
Coach Jim Dewey Brown was pleased with NMSU's depth. "The team is coming together," he said after the third rodeo in the Grand Canyon Region. "These kids could go all the way to the national finals."
At the first rodeo, calf ropers Etcheverry, Wimberly and Jarret Corn finished first, second and third, respectively. Clay Snure tied for sixth in calf roping. Snure won the steer wrestling, with Wimberly placing third.
The women made a strong showing in breakaway roping, with Sproul second, Amanda Johnson third, Leah Stevenson fourth and Cissi Dzera sixth.
Sproul was first in goat tying, with Tori Koyle finishing fourth. In barrel racing, Sproul was second and Koyle third.
Sproul finished third in team roping, competing with a heeler from another university.
At the second rodeo, Etcheverry won the calf roping and steer wrestling on his way to the all-around title. Wimberly was third in calf roping, and Buddy Robinson was third in steer wresting. Jordan Davis was third in saddlebronc riding.
Robinson and Wimberly were second in team roping. Cody Gentry and Jarred Evans finished fifth, and Sproul and a heeler from another university were sixth. But NMSU suffered a serious loss when Aaron Thomas broke his thumb in a dally accident during the slack.
Sproul was first in goat-tying and third in barrel racing. Koyle was third in goat tying.
Breakaway roping made the difference in the women's second-place team finish at the Oct. 13 rodeo. Yolanda Nez, who finished fifth, was the only NMSU woman to place in breakaway roping, an event where four team members had placed the previous day.
Though plans have not been finalized for winter rodeos in the region, team members will continue to practice regularly and compete at other amateur and professional events to stay sharp, Brown said.
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