Writer: Darrell J. Pehr, 575-646-3223, firstname.lastname@example.org
ALAMOGORDO - Almost everything that could go right did go right for New Mexico State University's rodeo teams as they overwhelmed ropers and riders from 13 other universities Friday and Saturday at the Otero County Fairgrounds.
The Aggie women captured another team trophy and NMSU's Krista Norell of Meeker, Colo., finished far ahead of anyone else in the all-around competition.
The Aggie men's team more than doubled the points total of any other school and NMSU's Daniel Etsitty of Kayenta, Ariz., took home the all-around honors with his outstanding performances in rough stock events.
"We couldn't ask for anything better," NMSU coach Jim Dewey Brown said. The Aggies took first place in seven of the 10 events.
Winning their events were Aggies Wacey Walraven of Datil, N.M., in calf roping; Lucas Vaughan of Yerington, Nev., in steer wrestling; Clint Phillipps of Douglas, Wyo., in saddle bronc riding; Norell in breakaway roping; Megan Corey of Bremerton, Wash., in goat tying; Ty Trammell of Alamogordo as a team roping header; and Bode Baize of Anthony, Texas, as a team roping heeler.
Other top Aggie finishes went to Jake Greenwood of Big Piney, Wyo., second place, and Etsitty, third, in bareback riding; Kevin Lozares of Mountain View, Calif., second, and Sterling Walker of Aztec, fourth, in calf roping; J.W. Nicholson of Belen, third, in steer wrestling; Casey Talbot of Malaga, N.M., second, and Norell, third, in barrel racing; Etsitty, second, in bull riding; Brittany Striegel of Aztec, second, and Bailey Gow of Roseburg, Ore., fourth, in goat tying; and Matt Garza of Mesilla Park, second, as a team roping heeler.
The NMSU team has so many new, talented members that picking the right combination for team competition has been a challenge, but Brown said he was happy with the weekend results.
"We picked the right people for this rodeo," he said. Not only did new recruits turn in good results, but upperclassmen also excelled. "My older group stepped up. They're back to where they left off last year."
With four fall rodeos now completed, the Aggies have a break until the spring rodeo season begins in March. Last weekend's rodeo should leave both Aggie teams in good shape to begin the second half of the season, Brown said.
In the meantime, the student-athletes will have more time for their studies, Brown said. "They need to focus on school."
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