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NMSU polo team competes at national tournament

The New Mexico State University men's polo team placed third in the National Collegiate Polo Tournament held in Lexington, Ky., earlier this month.

Team members John Nance, of Magdalena, N.M.; Jared Sheldon, of San Diego; Logan Joseph, originally from Oregon and Jesse Lieber, originally from Illinois won the first round game against the University of Connecticuit, but lost in the semi-finals to Texas A&M.

"Maybe we could have done better, but we played a pretty tough game," said Nance, who plays the first position on the team.

According to Nance, NMSU placed second at the regional competition to earn a wild card slot in the national bracket. Only six teams earned a spot in the tournament.

"Our region is the strongest in the nation for polo, so we did really well to place second in the regional," Nance said.

Texas A&M won the regional contest and went on to place first in the national tournament as well.

Nance and Sheldon were named regional all-stars and the team claimed an award for having the best polo pony in the region. Sheldon was named second all-American at the national competition.

The team's accomplishments were recognized by the New Mexico House of Representatives, which sent a Certificate of Congratulations to the team.

The polo team has existed in its current form at NMSU since 1995. The last New Mexico polo team to compete at the national tournament was a New Mexico Military Institute team in 1955, Nance said.