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NMSU Graduates, Seniors Strong at College National Finals Rodeo

LAS CRUCES - New Mexico State University's Leah Stevenson finished fifth in the nation in breakaway roping after winning the short go at the College National Finals Rodeo with a time of 2.1 seconds.



Mandy Sproul, an NMSU senior, placed fifth nationally in women's all-around and eleventh in barrel racing at the College National Finals Rodeo. Sproul, who also competed in goat tying and team roping at nationals in Casper, Wyo., will return to NMSU next year. (06/19/2003) (NMSU Agricultural Communications Photo by J. Victor Espinoza)

Although Stevenson wrapped up her college rodeo eligibility, earning a bachelor's degree in social work in May, she won't be leaving rodeo behind. The Kirtland native will return to NMSU next year as a graduate student and assistant to rodeo coach Jim Dewey Brown.

"She's dedicated," Brown says. "I know she'll be able to help us in the women's events."

Stevenson earned a bye to the CNFR June 8-14 in Casper, Wyo., by finishing the regular season ranked second in the regional breakaway standings.

Senior Mandy Sproul, a transfer student from Pearce, Ariz., placed fifth nationally in women's all-around and eleventh in barrel racing. Sproul, who also competed in goat tying and team roping in Casper, will return to NMSU next year.

The NMSU women's team was 12th overall at the CNFR. "We're going to have a strong women's team again next year. I can already tell you that," said Brown, who has signed several top prospects in recent weeks. "We have quite a few new people coming on."

Calf roper Jarret Corn, who was fifth at last year's CNFR, won the third round with a time of 8.1 seconds. It was the final year of eligibility for the Roswell native, who earned a degree in agricultural economics and agricultural business in May.

Clay Snure, who finished the season ranked first in the regional calf roping standings, represented NMSU in two events. He and Sproul qualified for team roping at the conference finals rodeo in Hobbs. The senior, whose hometown is Rodeo, N.M., will return next year.

Also in team roping, Kody Gentry, a sophomore from Dell City, Texas, earned a bye to the finals as a heeler with a first-place regional finish. Jarred Evans, a freshman from Reserve, earned a spot as a header.