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Blue Hawk rodeo taking a steady approach to final stretch

The Dickinson State rodeo team is currently experiencing the unlucky breaks of the game.

The Blue Hawks' spring season, two rodeos old after traveling to Brookings, S.D., two weeks ago and Lincoln, Neb., last weekend, hasn't gone exactly the way coach Eudell Larsen had hoped.

But that hasn't been for lack of effort, preparation, or anything like that.

Largely, he said, it's been the unluck of the draw.

"Your own horse, the livestock you compete with, the calves you draw, the steers you draw, there's a lot of factors that go into rodeo," he said. "We've got some people that have worked hard, improved a great deal. Just with the draw and the circumstances, they haven't been able to put anything together."

The Blue Hawks will take their act to Spearfish, S.D., today for a rodeo hosted by Black Hills State, the team currently on top of the Great Plains Region standings on both the men's and the women's side.

The Yellow Jacket men lead with 470 points. Hastings College is second at 425, and the Blue Hawks are all the way down at No. 6 with 205 points.

The DSU women are fifth (120), far behind Black Hills State at 490 points.

"The competition's always tough in this region," Larsen said. "Black Hills especially — they're really dominating the women's side of it."

Individually, there have been some bright spots for the Blue Hawks this spring. Chance Glass, for instance, turned in a third-place finish last weekend in Lincoln in the men's all-around.

Carlie Bowditch was third in barrel racing with a time of 30.89 seconds. Two weeks ago, at South Dakota State, Lane Berg had a second-place finish in steer wrestling with a time of 33.7.

After Spearfish, the Blue Hawks head to Hastings College next weekend, then wrap things up at home May 5-6. The rodeo that weekend will be the first at the new Stark County Fairgrounds.

As the season winds down for DSU, and as the Blue Hawks look toward the National College Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyo., the focus will be the same as it's been all year. The hope is that the breaks start going their way.

"They've improved, they've gotten better. Sometimes you've just got to wait for things to fall into line," Larsen said. "When things don't go right, it's not necessarily your fault, yet it affects the confidence. They're all doing good. They just need to keep going with it and hope things fall together for us."