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SDSU rodeo team earns women's regional championship, 12 going on to nationals

The South Dakota State University rodeo team completed their regular season by capturing the women's championship in the Great Plains Region.

The SDSU women's rodeo team overcame an 800 point deficit this spring. The men's team finished in the regional reserve champion spot for the season. The combined team includes more than 60 members, and is the sixth largest college rodeo program in the United States.

Contestants in the Great Plains Region voted the Jackrabbit Stampede, held in Brookings in April, as Rodeo of the Year for the third year in a row.

With the regular season completed, SDSU rodeo head coach Ron Skovly is now preparing 12 SDSU rodeo athletes for the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, WY, June 13-19. Skovly is in his first year as the head coach of SDSU rodeo, and he was named coach of the year in the Great Plains Region.

Skovly said the SDSU team demonstrated impressive drive over the conclusion of the season. "Across the team, spirits were high and we accomplished very much this year, in part due to the support of Steers for State donors," said Skovly. "But, our work is not yet done, and we'll continue to show the nation what SDSU rodeo can do when we head out to nationals. I could not be more proud of the effort from every member of the team."

SDSU's 2009 national champion barrel racer Rachel Tiedeman, along with 2009 reserve champion bull rider Andrew Coughlin, will accompany Skovly and 10 other SDSU students to the national finals rodeo. They include:

•Whitney O'Rourke, Interior, 3rd, breakaway

•Ryan Kjerstad, Wall, and Tyrell Moody, 2nd, team roping

•Colby Porch, Kadoka, 5th, heading (team roping)

•Blake Baade, 4th, heeling (team roping)

•Callie Thomas, 2nd, barrel racing

•Jobie Dryden, 2nd, bull riding

•Shawn Flottmeyer, 1st, goat tying

•Olivia Boll, 2nd, goat tying

•Brent Sutton, 1st, calf roping

•Tyrell Moody, 3rd, calf roping.