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NMSU rodeo teams sweep Arizona contest

The New Mexico State University men's and women's rodeo teams earned first place this past weekend at a rodeo sponsored by Dine College in Tsaile, Ariz. Tony Steele, of Alamo, Nev., was named all-around cowboy and Bailey Gow, of Roseburg, Ore., was named women's all-around champion.

With its sixth in a series of wins, the NMSU women's rodeo team is ranked first in the nation by the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association and continues to dominate the regional standings. The men's team is currently ranked fifth in the nation and first in the region.

"We had a really good rodeo. The men added another 500 points to their lead in the regional standings, which should secure us as the regional champions for this year," said Jim Brown, NMSU rodeo coach.

Early Saturday, snow began to fall as the cowboys and cowgirls took to the arena. Despite the cold and snow, NMSU rodeo athletes won six of nine events that day, Brown said.

Tori Bilberry, of Elida, N.M., placed first in the breakaway roping, her first top three finish this season. Brooklynn Chester, of Carlsbad, N.M., and all-around cowgirl Gow tied for the second place spot.

Staci Stanbrough, of Capitan, N.M., won the barrel racing event and her teammate, Gow, six-hundredths of a second slower, took second place.

"One of my goals for the year was to sweep an event completely, winning every place, and we achieved that in the goat tying this weekend," Brown said.

Brittany Striegel, of Aztec, N.M., won the event, Megan Corey, of Bremerton, Wash., placed second and Gow came in third.

Tyson Runyan, of Silver City, N.M., placed first in the tie-down roping and Chance Means, of Cliff, N.M., tied for third place.

All-around cowboy Steele placed third in the steer wrestling.

Header Chance Means, of Cliff, N.M., and heeler Matt Garza, of Mesquite, N.M., won their third consecutive team roping this weekend. The duo is ranked first in the region and Means and Garza are currently the third place header and second place heeler in the nation, respectively. Steele and partner Casey Felton, of Fallon, Nev., placed second at the weekend's event.

Clay Geronimo, of Mescalero, N.M., was the champion bareback bronc rider for the weekend and Tanner Crofts, of Orderville, Utah, and Dean Daly, of Belen, N.M., placed second and third in the saddle bronc event.

With an 80-point ride, Steele tied for first place in the bull-riding event.

NMSU will host the next Grand Canyon Region Intercollegiate Rodeo April 27-28 in an arena set up near Aggie Memorial Stadium. The main events will begin at 5 p.m., and admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Children 5 years old and younger and university students with their NMSU ID will be admitted free.