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New Mexico State University

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Three NMSU Rodeo Team Members to Compete at National College Finals

LAS CRUCES -- Trey Miller, C.J. Aragon and Russell Sullivan will represent New Mexico State University at the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association finals, June 10-20 in Rapid City, S.D.

Miller, a team roper, will be competing for the third time at the national collegiate finals rodeo.

"There's a gold buckle that they give to all the world's champions. There's three of them in my family and I'd like to be the fourth to win one," he said.

Miller's father and grandfather competed at the national finals in team roping and steer wrestling. Barbara Bell, his mother, went to the national finals rodeo in barrel racing.

A sohpomore, Miller qualified to compete in the team roping event at nationals by placing second in the Grand Canyon Region. During the year, he also competed in steer wrestling and calf roping. Miller, a native of Phoenix, Ariz., will be the heeler, and his partner, Ned Kiehne, from Central Arizona College, will be the header.

Miller also serves as the Grand Canyon Region's student rodeo representative on the board of directors.

Aragon, of Belen, will be taking his first trip to the national collegiate finals in steer wrestling. He is ranked second in the national standings, 2.5 points from first place.

"It's been my goal to win national steer wrestling and finally, I think I have a real good shot at it," he said.

After working with his brother, Jake, most of the season, Aragon will have a new hazer, who directs the steer and keeps it running in a straight line for the steer wrestler to grab. In South Dakota, Aragon will be competing with Austin Manning of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.

This is Aragon's final year of collegiate rodeo eligibility.

Sullivan, of Las Cruces, was invited to compete in the team roping by Shane Sprouls from Central Arizona College. Sullivan finished fourth in the region, and only the top two finishers qualify for the national finals. However, qualifiers can invite someone to help them, as long as the person invited finished in the top 30 percent in the region.

Miller, Aragon and Sullivan will compete in rodeos on their way to Rapid City to stay in practice.

Last year, NMSU women's rodeo team member Casey Dove competed at the national finals in goat tying. Two years ago, the NMSU women's team went to the finals.