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NMSU Finishes Fall Rodeo Season with Home Wins

LAS CRUCES - With solid roping and rough stock success at back-to-back home rodeos, the New Mexico State University men and women earned two team trophies, a pair of all-around titles and first place finishes in every event except bareback riding.



Junior Rachael Van Cleve ties a goat during the slack at NMSU's fall home rodeos at the Southern New Mexico Fairgrounds. Van Cleve was third in goat tying at the Nov. 7 rodeo. The NMSU men and women won the team trophies for most points at back-to-back events Nov. 7 and 8. (11/12/2003) (NMSU Agricultural Communications Photo by J. Victor Espinoza)

And when the dust settled at the final fall rodeo in the Grand Canyon Region, NMSU led in the men's and women's regional team standings.

"The rough stock riders really stepped up," said NMSU rodeo coach Jim Dewey Brown. "We're in great shape going into the spring."

The NMSU women finished second and the men were third Nov. 7 in a single round of rapid-fire competition at the Southern New Mexico Fairgrounds. But NMSU dominated the following night's rodeo, scored as a separate competition, posting enough points to capture both team trophies for two-day point totals.

At the Nov. 8 rodeo, senior Clay Snure, the all-around champion, won the calf roping with a time of 10 seconds. Snure was second in steer wrestling with a time of 7.3 seconds, behind sophomore Cooper Wimberly, whose winning time was 5 seconds flat. Senior John Pete Etcheverry's third-place finish at 8.6 seconds completed a top three sweep.

The top three in team roping featured heeler Aaron Thomas in first, junior Jarred Evans and sophomore Kody Gentry in second, and Etcheverry and senior Buddy Robinson in third.

Thomas and header Tim Baker of Central Arizona College posted a time of 4.9 seconds. Evans and Gentry had a 5.6, and Etcheverry and Robinson had a 5.8.

Junior Justin Sanderlin won the bull riding Nov. 8 with a score of 75, his second top finish in two days. Sophomore Chance Van Winkle was second in saddle bronc with a 63.

Transfer student Keli Smith of Hobbs, the 2002 national collegiate breakaway champion, paced a top three sweep with a time of 3 seconds. Junior Janelle Manygoats was second at 3.2 seconds. Senior Mandy Sproul, who finished third in women's all-around, had a third-place breakaway time of 3.3 seconds.

Freshman MegAnne Casey won the barrel racing with a time of 17.62. Senior Misty Fudge was third in goat tying with a time of 9 seconds, followed by Sproul at 9.2 seconds.

Women's highlights at the Nov. 7 rodeo included Sproul's first place finishes in breakaway roping and goat-tying to win the all-around. Sproul's winning breakaway time was 2.8 seconds. Her goat tying time was 8.9 seconds.

Fudge was second in breakaway with a 2.9. Casey was third in barrel racing with a 17.88. Junior Rachael Van Cleve was third in goat tying with a 9.9.

Snure was runner-up in men's all-around at the first rodeo with third-place points in team roping and a fifth place in saddle bronc.

Sanderlin won the bull riding with a score of 72. Junior Taylor Smith split first place in saddle bronc with a 68, and Van Winkle was third with a 61. Wimberly was third in calf roping.

The NMSU men swept the top three in team roping. Thomas, a senior, was the winning heeler. He and Central Arizona's Baker posted a time of 6.5 seconds. Evans and Gentry were runners up with a 6.8, and Evans and Snure were third with a 6.9.

In regional standings, Sproul is first in women's all-around after four rodeos. Smith and Sproul are first and second, respectively, in the breakaway standings. Sproul is second in goat tying. Casey is third in barrel racing.

In men's all-around standings, Snure is in second place and Etcheverry is in third.

Other NMSU men in the top three in regional standings are Smith, second in saddlebronc; Sanderlin, first in bull riding; Snure, third in calf roping; and Etcheverry, third in steer wrestling. Evans is the top header in the team roping standings. Gentry, Jared Davis and Thomas are the top three heelers, respectively.