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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU Livestock Judging Team Starts Season with Win

LAS CRUCES ? New Mexico State University's livestock judging team outscored 16 teams to win the first contest of the season, the Express Ranch Cattle Judging on Dec. 18 in Yukon, Okla.

NMSU edged out Oklahoma State University by five points, earning a total score of 2,763. The team received a $500 travel award.

Two team members received individual scholarships for placing in the top five. Johnathan Walsh finished second, just one point shy of the top score, earning a $400 scholarship. Andrea Yelek, who had the fourth-highest individual score, received $200.

"It was a good win. The team worked hard and they deserved it," said coach Clay Elliott.

Team members prepared intensively for the contest. "We spent a week traveling and working out on cattle up until the contest day," Yelek said.

While most students have a month off for winter break, team members will take an eight-day break, returning right after Christmas.

"We will leave Dec. 28 and travel to Phoenix for a contest on Dec. 31, and then the team will continue to work out until Jan. 14 when we leave for Denver," Elliott said.

Other contests this spring will take place in Fort Worth, San Antonio and Houston.

"It's a lot of work, but it's worthwhile when you do well," Yelek said.

The team is coached by Elliott and Darick Chabot, a graduate student in animal science. Team members are Walsh, from Torreon; Yelek, Santa Fe; Jared Long, Great Falls, Mont.; Logan MacLennan, Byers, Colo.; Jenae Antonick, Sahuarita, Ariz.; Mike Horvath, Hesperus, Colo.; Morgan McConaughey, Riverton, Wyo.; and Nikki Gifford, Greybull, Wyo.