BHSU rodeo has another successful year

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Colton Backhaus, a member of the Black Hills State University men’s rodeo team, competes in the tie-down roping event during April’s Will Lantis Yellow Jacket Stampede, in Spearfish. Pioneer file photo

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SPEARFISH — The Black Hills State University Rodeo team competed at the College National Finals Rodeo June 9-15, in Casper, Wyo. 

Carlee Johnston finished third in the All-Around competition, while Alyssa Lockhart was 10th in breakaway roping.

KeAnna Ward and Emilee Pauley each competed in goat tying. Ward’s best finish came in the second go when she was 13th with 6.4. Pauley was eighth in the third go with 6.4.

On the men’s side, Chandler Comfort competed in team roping, while Tucker Chytka competed in steer wrestling. Comfort’s best finish was in the third go when he was 24th with 21.9. Chytka was 16th in the second go with 5.0.

 “Honestly, the season as a whole was really good season. The team worked hard, they had good character, and I really enjoyed this group,” said Glenn Lammers, BHSU’s rodeo coach.

The women’s team were ranked first in the Great Plains Region, and the men’s team were third after the fall season. 

“I thought we were in a good position after the fall season. It was kind of our midway point and I kind of thought we hit our goals we had for the fall season and everything was looking good,” said Lammers. “At the CNFR we were very competitive out there, but at the same time it wasn’t the best week we had all year by any means.”

Lammers said he was with how his team remained competitive throughout the CNFR, despite the low spots.

“I think in the go-rounds we were competitive and where we needed to be. They competed at a high level. We just needed to stay consistent all the way at that high level all week, and don’t make mistakes by any means. Just little things that prevented us from accomplishing everything we wanted to that week,” said Lammers.

Johnston was the lone senior for the BHSU rodeo team.

“Her competitive spirit has just been awesome. She is never satisfied, and has a great attitude to practice, and ready to work,” said Lammers. “It’s been a joy to work with her, and she has been a good leader that way too, leading by example.”

Lammers said he doesn’t recall having any athlete qualify in three events at the CNFR — breakaway roping, goat tying, and barrel racing.

“Having her qualify for three events is remarkable. I’m not sure I had anybody qualify for three events at the CNFR. It’s hard to be at that high level. She wanted to be first, but for her to be third in the all-around at a national level is quite an accomplishment. It’s hard to place in one event out there, and for her to place in two events that’s a huge accomplishment. She has qualified for the nationals all four years and has been a contender out there,” Lammers said.  

Lammers described the 2018-19 rodeo season as extraordinary.

“To sum up the season, they had a really good season all year long and at the CNFR I

Just everything they have accomplished, it has been as extraordinary year,” said Lammers. “I was looking at the GPA (grade point average) the other day and is what a 3.88 is the average for our women’s team that went to the CNFR. I think that’s the proof that they are getting it done in the classroom and in the arena.”

Lammers is excited about the 2019-20 rodeo season.

“Rodeo has a short memory and you just kind of have to start getting things in place, and I think we’ve got a really strong returning team, but also some good recruits,” said Lammers. “With someone like Carlee graduating, it gives an opportunity for someone else to step up. That’s fun to see too, and its good for them to have that opportunity. I think we are going to see some sophomores and juniors that have to step oSave and closeut and have a bigger impact on our team.”

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