Ladies first: Dickinson State women’s rodeo team to cap monster season at homeDickinson State rodeo has been a woman’s world this season. Paced by a strong group of upperclassmen, the Blue Hawk ladies have been downright dominant in the Great Plains Region.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
Blue Hawk Stampede
Slack performance, noon
Long round performance, 6 p.m.
Short round performance, 1 p.m.
Dickinson State rodeo has been a woman’s world this season.
Paced by a strong group of upperclassmen, the Blue Hawk ladies have been downright dominant in the Great Plains Region.
This weekend, the women’s team — ranked No. 4 in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association — should easily wrap up its first region championship since 2009 when DSU hosts the Blue Hawk Stampede at its Outdoor Arena.
Plus, thanks to a talented trio, they could very well sweep all three women’s-specific events.
“It really has been outstanding,” junior Bobbi Grann said. “It seems like, one way or another, one of us gets it done at every rodeo. We never really had any bad streaks or anything. It’s just been really good.”
Grann has wrapped up the Great Plains Region’s barrel racing title, is well on her way to the all-around title and sits second in the goat tying standings behind senior Laura Waldo, her teammate and longtime friend.
“She taught me how to tie goats actually,” Waldo said with a laugh. “We’ve went back and forth since high school.”
Waldo has a 100-point edge, meaning Grann needs a spectacular weekend to unseat her.
Meanwhile, senior Ashley Schaper is second in the breakaway roping standings and fifth in the team roping. The Killdeer High School graduate is ranked fourth in the all-around standings.
“We’ve only had a couple rodeos where the women’s team didn’t perform like they really wanted to,” DSU coach Eudell Larsen said. “The rest of the rodeos, at least three of them have always hit. It’s been a good year for the team. They’ve been real consistent, real strong, and it’s been a good showing.”
Of the nine Great Plains Region rodeos they’ve attended this season, DSU has won six.
Schaper said having short memories after bad weekends was key to the team’s year-long success.
“If we don’t win a rodeo, we just look past it and go to the next rodeo,” Schaper said. “We don’t really talk about it. It’s unspoken. We just go on to the next rodeo right away.”
Schaper was a College National Finals Rodeo qualifier in the breakaway roping and barrel racing last season. Laura Waldo, who is from Warwick but transferred to DSU from Central Wyoming College, is a two-time CNFR qualifier.
Grann, who was a North Dakota high school champion, played basketball at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake the past two years before transferring to DSU. She spent much of that time away from rodeo but kept riding horse since she was close to her home near Minnewaukan.
“I guess I’m really lucky and I’m happy I did it the way I did,” Waldo said. “At first I was really confused as to what to do and I just decided to stay close to home. Now I get to rodeo. I couldn’t have had it any better.”
Grann and Schaper drew into today’s slack events that begin at noon and not the main performance at 6 p.m. They’ll have to do well to make Saturday’s short round, which begins at 1 p.m.
Larsen, however, is confident the majority of the fans will get to see two of the team’s best competitors.
“It’s kind of bad for our home crowd, but they’ll get to see them in the short round,” Larsen said with a smile.