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NMSU Roper Finishes Second in Country

CASPER, Wyo. - New Mexico State University team roper Nate Mortensen of Virden, N.M., and his partner finished in second place in the nation Saturday at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper.

Mortensen is the heeler on the team. The header is Chance Means of Central Arizona College. Both are freshmen.

"They had another solid run Saturday," said NMSU rodeo coach Jim Dewey Brown.

The two had a combined time of 31.6 seconds on four runs during the week-long competition. They roped their calf in 7.7 seconds on their final run Saturday.

Brown said the final results were not known until after the rodeo was finished, and all the scores had been tallied. Brown said Mortensen was typically quiet and modest when he heard the news.

"He was pretty happy," Brown said, "but it was just like Nate. He didn't say much."

A team from Southeastern Oklahoma State University won the team roping.

For Brown, the national results are satisfying. NMSU calf roper Clay Snure finished in third place at last year's national finals, so Brown is pleased to see progress.

"We're slowly inching our way up to a first," Brown said.

NMSU calf roper Wacey Walraven of Datil, N.M., ended the competition in 12th place. Aggie barrel racer Wylene Penrod of Laveen, Ariz., and breakaway roper Janelle Manygoats of Winslow, Ariz., each finished in 14th place. The women's team finished in 15th and the men were 23rd.