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NMSU's Corn Joins Qualifiers for College National Finals Rodeo

LAS CRUCES - New Mexico State University calf roper Jarret Corn qualified for the College National Finals Rodeo with a sixth place finish May 29-31 at conference finals in Hobbs.

Calf roper Jarret Corn, who was fifth at last year's College National Finals Rodeo, won the third round with a time of 8.1 seconds. It was the Roswell native's final year of eligibility. He earned a degree in agricultural economics and agricultural business in May. (06/03/2003) (NMSU Agricultural Communications Photo by J. Victor Espinoza)

Corn, who had a time of 30.30 seconds on three runs, will make his final appearance at the CNFR, where he was fifth in calf roping last year. The Roswell native earned a degree in agricultural economics and agricultural business in May.

Conference finals provided a second chance to qualify for the CNFR June 8-14 in Casper, Wyo. Five other rodeo team members, who earned byes by finishing at No. 1 or No. 2 in the regional point standings, will represent NMSU.

Seniors Mandy Sproul and Clay Snure, already national qualifiers, will also compete in team roping. They placed eighth in Hobbs with a total time of 33.6 seconds.

Sproul, a transfer student from Pearce, Ariz., earned byes in barrel racing and goat tying. Snure finished the season atop the regional standings in calf roping. In team roping, Kody Gentry, a sophomore from Dell City, Texas, earned a bye as a heeler with a first-place regional finish. Jarred Evans, a freshman from Reserve, earned a spot as a header. Senior Leah Stevenson qualified with a second-place regional finish in breakaway roping.

Eighteen NMSU athletes competed in Hobbs-the largest group from a single school, coach Jim Dewey Brown said. The men's team finished sixth overall, while the women were seventh.

"The men's team had a good first round, then fell apart," Brown said. "What really hurt us was having no points from rough stock events."

Junior John Pete Etcheverry, who was sixth in the all-around at Hobbs, finished just one spot shy of qualifying in both steer wrestling and calf roping. "If there was a hard luck cowboy award, John Pete would have gotten it," Brown said.

Snure was eighth in steer wrestling and seventh in men's all-around at the conference finals. Brett Acuna finished ninth in calf roping.

Sproul was seventh in barrel racing and fourth in the women's all-around. Stevenson finished 12th in breakaway.

In preparation for the CNFR, team members plan to compete at pro rodeo events in Colorado and Kansas, Brown said.