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Dickinson's Swan didn't falter in hometown rodeo

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Kevin Hunter of Spearfish, S.D., competes in bull riding during the second day of the Roughrider Days Rodeo on Saturday at the DSU Outdoor Arena. Hunter leads the bull riding event after two days with a score of 75.

Home-field advantage is desirable, but not as easy as it sounds.

Dickinson cowboy Biff Swan had the crowd in his favor at the DSU Outdoor Arena, but he still felt nervous to compete in front of the hometown crowd.

“I was nervous, not going to lie,” Swan said with a little laugh. “But for your hometown rodeo you always get up for it. It was a good time.”

Swan fought through the nerves — and the thick layers of mud left over from torrential rains — to take over as the leader in steer wrestling with a time of 4.1 seconds in the second day of the Roughrider Days Rodeo on Saturday.

“I was pretty happy with it, considering the terrain out here and stuff. Just glad the sun came out,” Swan said. “Took a cut at the barrier and got it done. Drew a good steer and that helped a bunch.”

On Friday, Colt Floyd from Buffalo, S.D., set the standard in steer wrestling with a time of 4.4 seconds. Floyd’s time looked as if it was going to stand until Swan shaved off three-hundredths of a second.

Though his time isn’t a guaranteed win, Swan hopes the good time will be a stroke of good luck and help turn around his season, which hasn’t been too strong.

“I’ve been kind of having a bad year thus far and if it holds up that’ll be good for me,” Swan said.

Last weekend in Grassy Butte, Justin Scofield — who currently sits in second place in the Badlands Circuit for tie-down roping — ran a time of 9.5 seconds and finished runner-up.

As luck would have it, Scofield drew the same calf for Saturday’s run and came out with a better result, taking the lead with a time of 9.3 seconds.

“Tonight, I had a really good calf and I knew him,” Scofield said. “I ran him in Grassy Butte. I went second on him up there so it was pretty handy to know what he was and got to run him. I was pretty excited to have him.”

The time to beat was 10 seconds flat, set by Beau Franzen on Friday. While Scofield was aware of his competitor’s time, he never tries to keep it in the forefront of his mind and focus on himself.

“I like to know, but I don’t look at it because I try to compete against myself and if I do beat myself I should hopefully win, but if I try to beat what’s already out there that’s when you make mistakes,” Scofield said.

Spearfish, S.D., native Kevin Hunter hit a rough patch in bull riding the past two weekends.

However Hunter’s patience paid off and he stuck an eight-second ride to move to the top of the leaderboard.

The bull rider scored a 75, which knocked Joe Bertus of Avon, S.D., who finished a with a 74 on Friday, to second.

“I started out the season real good riding and everything, fell off a couple bulls last two weekends and looking forward to changing that around on the Fourth,” Hunter said.

The muddy terrain proved to be problematic for all events from bareback to bull riding. However, Hunter said it’s fortunate bull riding was the last event of the night and the sun could dry the ground out a little.

Hunter is done for the week but will continue on Wednesday for the hectic Fourth of July weekend. Hunter hopes the momentum will continue and get his season back on track.

“Just riding a bull was good, a confidence builder and will get a roll started,” he said smiling. “But to be 75 and move into the lead felt real good and hopefully I stay there.”

Swan, Scofield and Hunter weren’t the only competitors to raise the bar in their respected events. Tanner Aus and Josh Reynolds each scored a 78 to take the top spots in bareback and saddle bronc riding, respectively.

The Roughrider Rodeo finale begins at 6:30 p.m. today at the DSU Outdoor Arena.

Roughrider Days Rodeo

At DSU Outdoor Arena

Bareback riding: 1 Tanner Aus, Granite Falls, Minn., 78. 2 (tie), Joe Gunderson, Agar, S.D., 74; Mac Erickson, Sundance, Wyo.; John Addison, Midland, S.D. 5, Jake Smith, Whitewood, S.D., 67.

Barrel racing: 1, Carmel Wright, Roy, Mont., 16.76. 2, Lindsay Kruse, Great Falls, Mont., 16.90. 3 (tie), Heather Knerr, Grass Range, Mont., 17.40; Becky Fuson, Conrad, Mont. 5, Shelly Christensen, Sturgis, S.D., 17.45.

Bull riding: 1, Kevin Hunter, Spearfish, S.D., 75. 2, Joe Bertus, Avon, S.D., 74. 3 (tie), Riley Blankenship, Killdeer, 73; Rorey Maier, Timberlake, S.D. 5, Kacey Senger, Devils Lake, 72.

Saddle bronc: 1 (tie), Josh Reynolds, Ekalaka, Mont., 78; Bryce Miller, Nelson, Neb. 3, Kirk Thompson, Brandon, Mant., 76. 4, Jeremy Meeks, Belle Fourche, S.D., 74. 5, Colton Miller, Lance Creek, Wyo., 72.

Steer wrestling: 1, Biff Swan, Dickinson, 4.1. 2, Colt Floyd, Buffalo, S.D., 4.4. 3, Tait Kvistad, Burns, Wyo., 5.0. 4, Brady Wakefield, O’Neill, Neb., 5.5. 5, Austin Maier, Elgin, 6.0.

Team roping: 1 (tie), Eli Lord, Sturgis, S.D., Jess Morgan, Ada, Okla., 6.0; Tyrell Moody, Letcher, S.D., Rory Brown, Edgemont, S.D. 3, Tucker Dale, Timber Lake, S.D., Sloan Hendley, Abilene, Texas, 6.8. 4, Drew Gartner, Killdeer, Paul Griemsman, Piedmont, S.D., 11.6. 5, Beau Franzen, Sidney, Mont., Tim Franzen, Sidney, Mont., 11.9.

Tie-down roping: 1, Justin Scofield, Volgs, S.D., 9.3. 2, Trey Young, Dupree, S.D., 9.8. 3, Jon Peek, Williston, 9.6. 4, Beau Franzen, Sidney, Mont., 10. 5, Boe Brown, Valentine, Neb., 11.0.

Meaghan MacDonald

Meaghan is the sports page designer and copy editor for the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.  After graduating from James Madison University (Va.) in May 2013, she moved from New Jersey to North Dakota to start pursuing her career in sports journalism and was a sports reporter for the Dickinson Press and covered Dickinson State athletics. Meaghan has been working for the Forum since June 2015.