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NMSU Ropers Corral National Honors

CASPER, Wyo. - Two New Mexico State University rodeo team members finished in the top 10 during the College National Finals Rodeo Saturday, helping the men's team capture 11th place in the nation.

New Mexico State University Rodeo team member Clay Snure is hot on the heels of a calf during the NMSU-hosted rodeo April 3 at the Southern New Mexico Fairgrounds. Snure was one of 11 student athletes from NMSU who competed June 13-19 at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo. He finished third in the nation in calf roping. (06/19/2004) (NMSU Agricultural Communications Photo by Darrell J. Pehr)

Calf roper Clay Snure of Rodeo won the final round and finished in third place overall in the nation. Team roper Jared S. Davis of Tombstone, Ariz., along with partner Rene Rodriguez of the University of Arizona, finished fourth in Saturday's competition and eighth in the nation.

Snure tied his calf in a sizzling 8.2 seconds, his fastest time in the week-long competition.

"He was just Clay, calm, collected and ready to go," said NMSU Coach Jim Dewey Brown. "He put the pressure on them."

The team roping finals didn't go smoothly for many of the competitors, said Brown, with some teams missing their steers, or being penalized for mistakes.

"Team roping wasn't very fun to watch tonight," Brown said. "Everybody fell apart."

Bad luck hit the NMSU team, too, as Davis, the heeler on the team, only roped one of the calf's legs. But their speed made up for it, and even with a 5-second penalty the Davis/Rodriguez team finished in 11.4 seconds. Had they not been penalized, the time would have been their best of the competition.

The NMSU men's team scored 252.5 points to earn 11th place.

"I'm pretty tickled with the outcome," Brown said, especially when considering that the team struggled in the early rounds of the finals.
"We did pretty good for not having a good rodeo," he said.

Brown said having many of his young team members qualify for nationals will help next year's team.

"It'll be good next year," Brown said. "We're still pretty young. It's just going to take a little time, but we're going to get there."

Other NMSU men competing at nationals were bullrider Justin Sanderlin of Morenci, Ariz.; roper and steer wrestler John Pete Etcheverry of Carlsbad; and team ropers Jarred Evans of Apache Creek, Kody Gentry of Dell City, Texas, and Aaron Thomas of La Mesa.

NMSU women competing at nationals were Mandy Sproul of Pearce, Ariz., in goat tying and breakaway roping; Janelle Manygoats of Winslow, Ariz., and Brooke Wimberly of Bosque in breakaway roping; and Misty Fudge of Big Horn, Wyo., in goat tying.