Jackrabbit wranglers wrap up fall season

One sport that may be forgotten when thrown in the mix with Division I football, basketball and other sports is college rodeo.

The South Dakota State University rodeo team currently competes in the Great Plains Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association. The NIRA has been in existence since 1949.

This fall the Jackrabbits have participated in five regional rodeos. The first was held on Sept. 11 and 12 in River Falls, Wis. The next took place in North Platte, Neb. on Sept. 18 and 19, before the Jacks took some time off. SDSU took a four-day trip to Iowa to compete in two separate events Oct. 1 through 4. The first stop on the trip found the Jacks participating in an event in Fort Dodge and the second stop was in Ames. SDSU closed the fall season on Hobo Day weekend in Fargo, ND.

On the men’s side, Dickinson State University leads the 10-team region and SDSU sits in fourth place at the break. The Black Hills State University women’s team currently leads the region while SDSU holds third place.

On an individual basis, the top-eight contestants in the qualifying rounds of each event are awarded a certain amount of points and the top-10 finishers move on to a round that determines the event’s winner. Points are awarded to eight participants in the final round.

Two Jackrabbit saddle-bronc riders hold top spots in the region as Cody Miller secured the second spot with 310 points and Bill Chauncey finished the fall season in the eighth spot with 40 points.

James Ellsworth is the lone SDSU cowboy to hold a spot on the leaderboard at the end of the fall season in bareback riding. Ellsworth occupies the third spot in the region with 452 points.

Ryan Knutson leads the Jackrabbit bull riders, as he holds the fourth position in the regional standings with 225 points. Jake Stark sits in the 14th position with 60 points.

Newt Bruley holds the fourth spot in tie-down roping with 220 points, and Cody Heckenlaible is in the sixth spot with 180 points.  

Teil Glaus marks the only spot that SDSU holds on the steer wrestling leaderboard as he finished the fall season with 135 points to claim the 11th position in the region.

Bruley leads the Jackrabbit team-roping headers as he sits in third place in the region with 185 points. Glaus trails him by two positions with 170 points.

Gannon Gustafson is the top SDSU healer with 185 points in the third spot in the regional standings. Ty Jurgenson holds the fifth spot with 170 points.

Annie Fulton is the top barrel racer from SDSU and raced her way to the third spot in the region during the fall season with 335 points. Kaitlyn Latham accumulated 236 points to claim the fifth spot.

Sarah Vrchota and Courtney Birkholtz sit seventh and eighth on the region leaderboard in the breakaway roping event with 130 and 126 points, respectively. 

Danielle Aus and Jacie Hupp trail BHSU’s Carlee Johnston in the goat-tying standings. Aus holds the second spot with 394 points while Hupp finished the fall season third with 360 points.