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NMSU Rodeo remains on top

The New Mexico State University women's rodeo team placed first this past weekend at the University of Arizona National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) Rodeo in Tucson, Ariz. The NMSU men's team tied for first place with the Central Arizona College team, of Coolidge, Ariz., and NMSU's Tony Steele, of Alamo, Nev., was named men's all-around champion.

This success comes on the heels of a rodeo in Ft. Huachuca, Ariz., on Feb. 24-25; the women's team dominated the competition at the event with a first place win, while the men's team placed third.

"We really turned the men's team around this weekend, and that was one of our big goals coming out of the last event," said Jim Dewey Brown, coach.

Staci Stanbrough, of Capitan, N.M., won the breakaway roping, and her teammate Brooklynn Chester, of Carlsbad, N.M., placed second.

Brittany Streigel, of Aztec, N.M., won second place overall in the barrel racing event, and Carlsbad, N.M., native Casey Talbot placed third. The girls were separated from each other and from first place by only one one-hundredth of a second in their overall score.

NMSU women dominated the goat tying event, occupying four of the top five positions. Megan Corey, of Bremerton, Wash., and Jonna Bizzell, of Los Lunas, N.M., placed first and second respectively.

Clay Acuna, of Santa Fe, N.M., placed third overall in the tie-down roping.

J.W. Nicholson, of Bosque Farms, N.M., won the steer wrestling event, and his teammates Tanner Robinson, of Mesilla Park, N.M., and Frank Krentz, of Animas, N.M., placed second and third overall, respectively. Robinson was timed at 4.3 seconds in the short go.

"The students had outstanding times all weekend in the steer wrestling," Brown said.

Casey Felton, of Fallon, Nev., and Tony Steele were the overall champion team ropers, and Aaron Moyers, of Moriarty, N.M., and his partner Eric Mascarenas, a student at New Mexico Highlands University, placed second.

Bareback bronc rider Clay Geronimo, of Mescalero, N.M., placed second in his event, and Dean Daly, of Belen, N.M., placed second in the saddle bronc event.

Alamo, Nev., native Chad Steele, twin brother of all-around champion Tony, had two solid rides in the bull riding event, securing his first place overall win. Tony Steele placed third in the event.

"The twins put on some really good rides this weekend," Brown said of their performance.

This was only the second time in competition with the NMSU rodeo team for all-around cowboy Tony Steele, who, along with team roping partner Casey Felton, had to sit out three rodeos last semester as recent transfer students.

The women's team has an impressive 1,700-point lead in the regional standings, while the men's team has maintained a 500-point lead over the second place team.

The rodeo team will compete in the Central Arizona College NIRA Rodeo in Florence, Ariz., March 10-11.