ENMU roper earns national crown

By Thomas Garcia: Freedom New Mexico

Junior Kyle Roberts brought home Eastern New Mexico University’s first national rodeo title in 32 years.

Roberts teamed with Corey Bramwell of Ranger Junior College in Ranger, Texas, to win the team-roping crown at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo. The duo roped four steer in 27.1 seconds.

ENMU’s Tyrell Flewelling of Lacombe, Alberta, Canada, teamed with Arena M. DeLaCruz of Weatherford College to place second.

There were 61 teams competing in the weeklong event that started on June 15 and ended on Saturday.

“I was thrilled that I had won and glad that it was over,” Roberts said. “It was a long week of competition. The nerves of waiting for that last steer was intense.”

Roberts and Bramwell had a 12-second lead heading into the short-go. They turned in a time of 6.7 seconds to easily win the title.

Slewelling and DeLaCruz ended with an average of 32.1. The top 12 teams after three rounds advanced to the short-go.

Roberts, from Durango, Colo., competed for two years at New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs before transferring to ENMU.

“I would like to win regionals and a second national title,” said Roberts, who has one year of eligibility left.

“We are looking forward to seeing how Kyle and Tyrell do next year after the way they finished this year,” ENMU rodeo coach Albert Flinn said.

ENMU tied for eighth with Lamar (Colo.) Community College in the men’s team standings. Bronc rider Jared Green and steer wrestler Cody Heck did not advance to the short-go.

“Placing eighth overall is pretty good when you have just four members competing,” Flinn said.

The last individual champion for the ENMU rodeo team was Chris Helker in barrel racing in 1976.

TEAM STANDINGS (TOP 10)

1. Walla Walla (Wash.) C.C.