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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU rides to victory

The New Mexico State University men's and women's rodeo teams are National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Grand Canyon Region champions after hosting the final rodeo of the season the last weekend in April.


NMSU's Bailey Gow, of Roseburg, Ore., finished up the season as women's all-around champion for the region with a lead of nearly a thousand points over the second place cowgirl.

"We finished first in the region, and that's what our goal was," said Jim Brown, NMSU rodeo coach.

NMSU athletes finished well in the region individually; in fact, they were in the top three in every event.

Brooklynn Chester, of Carlsbad, N.M., was the second place overall breakaway roper in the region.

All-around cowgirl Gow finished an outstanding season as regional barrel-racing champion and teammate Staci Stanbrough, of Capitan, N.M., placed second in the region.

NMSU athletes held four of the top five places in the region in the goat-tying for the season. Megan Corey, of Bremerton, Wash., claimed the top prize overall with Jonna Bizzell, of Los Lunas, N.M., and Gow coming in second and third, respectively.

Means was the highest-scoring calf roper in the region, winning the tie-down event, Santa Fe, N.M. native Clay Acuna placed second and Wacey Walraven, of Datil, N.M., placed third overall in the region.

NMSU's Jared Nicholson, of Bosque Farms, N.M., placed third overall in steer wrestling.

Chance Means, of Cliff, N.M., and partner Matt Garza, of Mesquite, N.M., are the top team ropers in the region and JoDan Mirabal, of Grants N.M. and Aaron Shelley, of Gila, N.M., placed third.

Dean Daly, of Belen, N.M., placed second in the region in the saddle bronc scores.

Chad Steele, of Alamo, Nev. and Daren Albrecht, of Veyo, Utah, placed second and third overall in the bull riding standings for the region.

NMSU's cowboys and cowgirls not only dominated the regional scores, they had an outstanding competition in their final rodeo of the season, much to the delight of NMSU rodeo fans who turned out to cheer them on.

The men's team placed second overall at the contest, missing the winner's circle by the slender margin of 45 points. The men's team from Cochise College, in Ft. Huachuca, Ariz., won the event. The NMSU women's team won first place.

Gow was all-around cowgirl for the event.

Tori Bilberry, of Elida, N.M., and Chester shared the top spot in breakaway roping this weekend with an identical score.

Gow placed first overall in the weekend's barrel racing with teammates Stanbrough and Brittany Striegel, of Aztec, N.M. coming in at second and third.

NMSU women ruled the goat tying this weekend, holding each of the top six spots. Corey won the event and Gow and Striegel placed second and third overall.

Ty Winterton, of Gilbert, Ariz., was the number one tie-down roper this weekend, the cowboy's first top three showing of the season.

Nicholson was the overall champion steer wrestler this weekend, helping secure his spot in the regional standings.

Mirabal and Shelley won the team roping and Jared Gonzales, of Las Vegas, N.M., and partner Eric Mascarenas, a student at New Mexico Highlands University, came in a close second.

NMSU athletes made a more than respectable showing in the rough stock events, with Crofts and Daly winning second and third in the saddle bronc event, respectively.

The only cowboy to compete in the event this weekend, Clay Geronomo, of Mescalero, N.M., won the bareback bronc riding.

Tony Steele won the bull riding by a margin of nearly 60 points overall and Albrecht placed second.

Currently, both NMSU rodeo teams are ranked first in the nation, but not every region has finished the rodeo season yet.

NMSU will send fifteen competitors to the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo., June 10-16.

"We'll have great representation at the finals. Hopefully, we can keep our momentum going," Brown said.