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NMSU Women Ride Among Top Teams at National Competition

CASPER, Wyo. - The nationally ranked New Mexico State University women's rodeo team is in second place at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo., after three days of competition.



New Mexico State University rodeo coach Jim Dewey Brown congratulates Aggie barrel racer Wylene Penrod of Laveen, Ariz., for being the top barrel racer in the Grand Canyon Region. Penrod is currently in second place in her event at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo. Brown also was recognized for his work this season. Rodeo competitors from the five teams in the region selected him as coach of the year. (06/15/2005) (NMSU Agricultural Communications Photo by Darrell J. Pehr)

"It's pretty exciting this early in the rodeo," said NMSU rodeo coach Jim Dewey Brown. "Hopefully, we can keep on going. I'm keeping my fingers crossed."

After three rounds of competition, Aggie Wylene Penrod of Laveen, Ariz., is in second place in barrel racing and Janelle Manygoats of Winslow, Ariz., is in third in breakaway roping. Team roper Nate Mortensen of Virden, N.M., scored points for the men's team with an eighth place finish in the second round.

Also competing well for NMSU are calf roper Wacey Walraven of Datil, N.M., and Kayla Weiss-Lange of Great Falls, Mont.

"Kayla had a smoking time in the first round (with a run of 6.5 seconds)," Brown said. She tied for second place.

Third-round competition continues each night through Friday, when the third round will be complete. Leaders at that point will advance to the short go competition Saturday, when national champions will be determined.

"There are still a lot of points out there to be won," Brown said. "It's still early."

The coach, who recently was selected as the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association's Grand Canyon Region coach of the year, is proud of the progress his team has made so far.

"Everybody seems to be pretty excited," he said. "They know what they're here for. They're really taking care of business."