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Rodeo Alumni Team Up for NMSU Students

LAS CRUCES - New Mexico State University rodeo alumni rounded up support for an Aggie Rodeo Society and took part in a Nov. 9 alumni rodeo at the Southern New Mexico Fairgrounds.

Freshman Bode Baize, left, and alumnus Denny Calhoun team rope during NMSU's alumni rodeo Nov. 9 at the Southern New Mexico Fairgrounds. (11/12/2003) (NMSU Agricultural Communications Photo by J. Victor Espinoza)

The Aggie Rodeo Society, a new alumni association chapter, will support NMSU's rodeo program and DuBois Rodeo Scholarships. In addition, the group plans to establish an NMSU Rodeo Hall of Fame, and support and promote the sport in New Mexico, said Frank DuBois, rodeo supporter and former secretary/director of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture.

Buster Riley of Las Cruces was elected president Nov . 8. Joe Crockett of La Belle, Fla., will serve as secretary/ treasurer. Giles Lee of Lovington is membership chairman.

Anyone interested in supporting NMSU rodeo may join the society. For more information, call alumni director Debbie Widger at (505) 646-3616.

After cheering for NMSU at collegiate rodeos Nov. 7 and 8, several supporters saddled up for an alumni rodeo, along with current team members, family members and former students.

"NMSU has hosted alumni events in the past, but we're calling this our first annual alumni rodeo because we plan to have one every year from now on," said rodeo coach Jim Dewey Brown.

Freshman Chelsee Byerly was first in barrel racing with a time of 17.86 seconds, followed by Whitney Robinson, sister of team member Buddy Robinson, with a time of 17.88 seconds.

Senior Mandy Sproul won the breakaway roping with a time of 2.56 seconds. Assistant rodeo coach Leah Stevenson, a team member last year, was second at 3.38 seconds. Senior Cissi Dzera was third at 5.5 seconds.

In calf roping, experience won out. Veteran J.D. McKinley was first with a time of 9.2 seconds. Kacy Robinson, older brother of team member Buddy Robinson, was second with a 9.5. Senior Clay Snure was third with a 10.7.

Former team member Lee Kiehne and former student Nano Garza won the team roping with a total time of 21.19 seconds on three head. Sophomore Jarred Evans and senior John Pete Etcheverry were second with a time of 22.60 seconds. Sproul and Etcheverry were third with 25.06. Sproul and Garza won an award for fastest time on the first go, 6.31 seconds.