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Recruits Lead NMSU Team at Season's First Rodeo

DOUGLAS, Ariz. - Rodeo recruits wasted no time in showing how well they can compete at New Mexico State University's first rodeo of the season Friday and Saturday. They turned in two first-place finishes and won the women's all-around title at the two-day event hosted by Cochise College.

Brittany Striegel captured top honors in the all-around competition Friday and Saturday at the Cochise College NIRA rodeo in Douglas, Ariz. The New Mexico State University freshman is from Aztec. (09/26/2005) (NMSU Agricultural Communications Photo by J. Victor Espinoza)

NMSU freshman Brittany Striegel of Aztec won first in goat tying and accumulated enough points in other events to capture the all-around honors. NMSU's Jake Greenwood of Big Piney, Wyo., took first in bareback riding, followed by Aggie Daniel Etsitty of Kayenta, Ariz. NMSU's Megan Corey of Bremerton, Wash., added a second-place finish in goat tying.

With three of the top four places in team roping also going to NMSU and solid showings in calf roping, steer wrestling and bullriding, the Aggie men won the team competition.

"I am really pleased," coach Jim Dewey Brown said. "I'm glad we finally got a men's team trophy. The recruits did really well. They're hungry for those top spots on the team."

The NMSU women, who dominated the Grand Canyon Region last season, finished in third place. Brown said choosing who will represent the school on the team, and who will compete individually, is a little tricky so early in the season.

"The women who kind of carried us all last season didn't perform the way they usually do, but they'll step up and do well," he said.

Top team ropers for NMSU were Matt Garza of Mesilla Park, who teamed up with a roper from Central Arizona College for first. Monte Topmiller of Silver City and Chance Van Winkle of Alto finished in third. Tying for fourth were the team of Bode Baize of Anthony, Texas, and Ty Trammell of Alamogordo and the team of Arcel Allsup of Duncan, Ariz., and Nate Mortensen of Virden, N.M.

Aggie calf ropers were led by Wacey Walraven of Datil, N.M., in third. NMSU bareback rider Clay Houston of Seminole, Texas, was fourth and freshman steer wrestler Lucas Vaughan of Yerington, Nev., finished fourth.

Bailey Gow of Roseburg, Ore., took fourth in goat tying. In barrel racing, Callie Rios of Clint, Texas, took second and Rachael Van Cleve of Bosque Farms was fourth.

NMSU competes again Oct. 7 and 8 in Gallup.