Dickinson State rodeo teams to make nationals after strong home performance
Dickinson State's rodeo teams were on the cusp of nationals, but still had to perform in their final rodeo of the season.The Blue Hawks didn't let their home fans down.The DSU men took first and the women took second with 496 and 345 points, resp...
Dickinson State’s rodeo teams were on the cusp of nationals, but still had to perform in their final rodeo of the season.
The Blue Hawks didn’t let their home fans down.
The DSU men took first and the women took second with 496 and 345 points, respectively, for the Blue Hawk Stampede on Saturday at the DSU Outdoor Arena. Black Hills State won the women’s division with 695 points.
“We had a lot of guys step up for both the men’s and women’s teams,” DSU cowboy Blake Smith said. “It was nice to have some friends and family come together and get to watch. … It kind of opens your eyes to how much support you have.”
Seniors Cameron Morman led the DSU men with 230 total points and Skye Schaper paced the women with 230 points. Both were second overall in the final home rodeos of their careers.
Schaper was runner-up in goat tying with a 16-second average for 120 points. She also was third in the barrel races with times of 16.14 seconds and 15.95 seconds for a 32.09 average and 110 points.
Morman was runner-up in steer wrestling - the event for which he won the College National Finals Rodeo last year - with times of 5.2 and 5.1 seconds for an average of 10.5 seconds and 140 points.
Morman, a Glen Ullin native, felt that his rodeo was all about consistency, though he did slightly improve on his short-go from his first try.
“All it is in these rodeos is consistency,” Morman said. “For a while, the only thing holding me back was my young horse. He wasn’t consistent. But, man, has he come on strong this spring. I think that’s why it ended up so well.”
Smith, also a senior, earned first in bareback riding after scoring a 71 and a 76 in his first two attempts and ending with a short-go ride for 78 points.
Smith had seen his short-go horse buck someone off in a past rodeo and knew it would be a tough ride, but he still felt ready for the challenge.
“I knew he was a handful, and he sure was,” Smith said. “I had to cock my hammer, let things move and really try to ride correct.”
Sadie Gjermundson was fifth in the breakaway roping with an average time of 6.4 seconds. Morman and Chance Glass finished team roping in 6.6 seconds for third in the event.
“I think our men’s team and women’s team have a lot of talent this year,” Gjermundson said. “We came out and did what we needed to do to keep our spot going into the CNFR.”
Unofficially, the team scores mean the DSU men and women qualify for the CNFR in June.
Which, even for those like Smith who are qualified individually already, means a lot.
“I’m fricking so happy. I couldn’t even put it into words,” Smith said. “Hard work pays off, and I think that showed for our team.”
After being recognized before the short-go on Saturday, the Blue Hawks couldn’t have asked for a much better weekend.
“It’s a happy, sad day,” Morman said. “I feel like our team finished strong. We were going into it leading this spring, and we finished well.”
Gjermundson added: “It was definitely bittersweet. Tonight I was just going to go for it in both events because I had nothing to lose. It was sad, but I’m ready to move on.”