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NMSU sends top competitors to College National Finals Rodeo

LAS CRUCES - Talented riders and ropers from New Mexico State University will compete June 11-17 at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo.

New Mexico State University rodeo team member Bailey Gow will compete June 11-17 at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo. This will be her second year to compete for the Aggies. (NMSU Agricultural Communications photo by Darrell J. Pehr)

With a women's team that is ranked fourth in the nation and a men's team that is ranked 16th, NMSU Coach Jim Dewey Brown is enthusiastic about the Aggies' prospects.

"I think we're going to have a really good shot this year," Brown said. "We've got solid competitors in each event."

Competing in goat tying will be NMSU's Megan Corey of Bremerton, Wash., Brittany Striegel of Aztec, N.M., and Julie Etchegaray of Eureka, Nev. Bailey Gow of Roseburg, Ore., will compete in breakaway roping and barrel racing for the Aggies. Other Aggie barrel racers will be Callie Rios of Clint, Texas, Krista Norell of Meeker, Colo., and Casey Talbot of Malaga, N.M.

"We're really stacked in the goats and the barrels," Brown said, "and Bailey can make it happen in the breakaway."
For the men's team, Wacey Walraven of Datil, N.M., and Arcel Allsup of Duncan, Ariz., will compete in calf roping. J.W. Nicholson of Belen, N.M., will compete in steer wrestling. Matt Garza of Mesilla, N.M., and Victor Perez of Corona, N.M., will team rope. Clint Phillipps of Douglas, Wyo., will ride saddle broncs. Daniel Etsitty will compete in bareback riding and Daren Albrecht of Veyo, Utah, will ride bulls for the Aggies.

Coach Brown also will be in contention for an award at the national rodeo. In April, he was selected as the Grand Canyon Region coach of the year, and the Aggies' home rodeo in April was selected as the region's best rodeo of the year, an honor that comes with an award of $350 for the NMSU rodeo scholarship fund.

A panel of student directors from regions across the country will select the coach of the year. Brown was surprised by his selection as regional coach of the year for the second year in a row.

"I really wasn't expecting it," Brown said. "There are a lot of good coaches in our region." Brown was runner-up for the national award last year.

The winning coach will be selected based on participation in the production of the national rodeo, expressed interest and dedication in the regional rodeo, integrity, moral character and competitive success. The winning coach will bring home a $500 scholarship sponsored by Powder River Livestock Handling Equipment.

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