The Grand Canyon Region rodeo season is officially in full swing with two rodeos down and three left to go. The NMSU rodeo team walked away from the Central Arizona College and University of Arizona rodeos with a number of wins. The Central Arizona College rodeo in Coolidge, Arizona, comprised two separate rounds. The UA rodeo was a single round.
“The team did well. We’re off to a good start. I think everyone has something they can work on,” said Coach Logan Corbett.
At the CAC rodeo March 9–10, the team snagged four event wins Saturday and one event win Sunday.
Dylan Riggins put together two very consistent rides to win both days in the bareback riding. He scored 71 points the first day and 73 points the second day.
The NMSU women’s team dominated the breakaway roping. On Saturday, the ladies took home the top five places. Freshman Sienna Bruton took home the win with a time of 2.8 seconds. Bethanie Shofner grabbed second with 2.9 seconds. Third place went to Kelton Little with a run of 3.0 seconds. Senior Carly Billington was fourth with a 3.1-second run, and freshman Kasey Eaves placed fifth with a time of 3.4 seconds.
On Sunday, NMSU freshman Dally Goemmer took second in the calf roping with a time of 2.4 seconds and Abbie Shofner took third with a run of 2.6 seconds.
In the men’s calf roping, Derek Runyan held his spot at number one in the region with a win on Saturday. His time was 9.8 seconds. Transfer student Blaine Pinochi inched his way up in the year-end standings. He took home fourth with a 12.9-second run.
The Aggies stayed consistent in a fast weekend of goat tying. Saturday, Bethanie Shofner finished second with a time of 8.5 seconds and freshman Peyton McKinley split fifth and sixth with an 8.8-second tie. The next day Bethanie Shofner finished fourth, beating her previous time with a run of 7.8 seconds. Senior Karly Welty tied for the fifth and sixth spots with a time of 8.0 seconds.
In the steer wrestling, McLane Arballo took home the second-place spot on Sunday with a time of 8.0 seconds.
NMSU’s team of sisters, Bethanie and Abbie Shofner, won fourth in the team roping with a time of 9.8 seconds.
It is no surprise the lady Aggies continued to crush the barrel racing. On Saturday they stole the top three spots. Jayde Wamel held her spot at number one, winning the day by over half of a second with a 16.37-second run. Clay Barry placed second with a time of 16.91 seconds, while Eaves was third with a 17.02-second run. On the final day, Eaves placed second with the fourth-fastest time of the weekend. Her time was 16.92 seconds. Canadian Amy Bowditch placed fourth with a time of 16.95 seconds.
At the University of Arizona rodeo March 16, the Aggies continued to climb their way up the leaderboards. After both rodeos, Bethanie Shofner is now leading the Women’s All-Around. Eaves holds the second-place spot.
“This does not change the way I view things in the practice arena or at the rodeos. I try my best to run one at a time and focus on making the best of every run,” Eaves said.
Both the NMSU men’s and women’s teams hold the second-place spot in the region. Riggins won the UA rodeo with a score of 73 points in the bareback riding.
The breakaway roping was taken over by sisters Bethanie and Abbie Shofner who tied for first with a time of 2.8 seconds. Going into the final three rodeos, Bethanie Shofner indicated her plan is to stay focused. “I plan on keeping my head on straight and focusing on what I need to get done, which is to catch and be consistent,” Shofner said.
In the team roping, Tyler Montaño and Pryce Marez took home their first win of the season with a time of 7.7 seconds, and it was no surprise that Jayde Wamel won the barrel racing with a 17.54 second run.
The Aggie rodeo team will be traveling to Fort Huachuca in Sierra Vista, Arizona, March 23, to compete in the Cochise College rodeo. Coach Corbett is expecting the team to “be even better this weekend.”