Rodeo rides to town

 The 60th Annual Jackrabbit Stampede Rodeo featured a strong SDSU performance as they roped in 13 top five finishes including two wins in front of a crowd of more than 2,000, filling the Swiftel Center for Saturday’s final. 

Friday evening and Saturday featured go-rounds one and two. Saturday night brought the finals in which the top 10 in each event dueled for the Jackrabbit Stampede buckle. 

The stampede featured more than 10 Great Plains regional programs including North Dakota State University, Mitchell Technical Institute, Iowa Central Community College, the University of Nebraska Lincoln, Black Hills State University, Hastings College, Northwest College, Dickinson State and University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Outside conference competitors, Northern State and Mid-Plains Community College were also represented. 

SDSU’s Nick Schwedhelm represented his team colors as he took the first in bareback with 176 points. Schwedhlem scored 75, 72 and 82 in go-rounds one, two and three, respectively and averaged 46 points. 

Christian Jensen finished fifth of five in bareback with 28 points, scoring 14 in go-round one. 

Alyshia Moe took the barrel-racing win with an average time of 26.92 seconds and 140 points. In go one, Moe finished just behind teammate Nicole Fritz by .02. Fritz finished the event tied for second with 115 points to BHSU’s Samantha Jorgenson. 

“The large, cheering crowd is what made the difference in my performance on Saturday,” Moe said. “My mare loves it an feeds off the energy. I am very happy with how I started out my spring season of rodeos.” 

Moe has a good feeling about the remainder of her spring rodeos. 

Another strong Jackrabbit performance, Tarin Hupp as she went 7.3 and 7.5 seconds in go’s one and two to take second overall behind Dickinson State’s Bobbi Grann. Grann led all women in scoring with 250 points overall. 

In team roping, Trey Richter and BHSU’s Ty Douglas finished third with 100 points. The duo 11.7 and 12.8 in go’s one and two, respectively. 

2013 College National Finals Rodeo veteran, Junior Marshal Peterson came up short with zero points overall in tie down roping after a 16.7 time in go one.

SDSU did not place in steer wrestling nor bull riding. 

Prior to the stampede, SDSU men and women both led the Great Plains region. Both SDSU men and women dropped to third with 501 and 205 points, respectively.

Haley Brown currently holds a No. 2 seed in breakaway roping with a 7.5 just behind UNL’s Lindsay Adamson who finished as No. 1 in breakaway at the stampede. 

The event engaged fans of all ages with a mechanical bull, inflatable jumper and vendor shops. Fans were encouraged to submit selfies on social media by using the hashtag, #JackrabbitStampedeSelfie. 

The high fan count, and the pressure on the athletes to follow, has historically proved the Jackrabbit Stampede to be a challenge. 

“I never won the Jackrabbit Stampede for some reason,” Coach Ronald Skovly said earlier this season. “[I had] Come second once or twice, but that’s part of rodeo.”

On the road for the remainder of the season, SDSU rodeo travels next to Lincoln, Neb., April 18-19 for the UNL Rodeo held at the Lancaster Event Center.