It is called the Rose Bowl of college rodeo, and for good reason.
The sport's best and brightest will gather June 9-15 at the Casper Events Center in Wyoming for the 65th annual College National Finals Rodeo. More than 400 cowboys and cowgirls from more than 100 universities and colleges will be competing.
Included in that group:
Northern State - Senior Calley Worth of Gettysburg and her horse, Lily, in barrel racing. They are the first to have qualified for the finals for the Wolves since Northern State restarted its club program in 2006. NSU officials said the school had a strong tradition in rodeo dating back to the 1960s.
South Dakota State - Taryn Sippel of Pierpont in barrel racing and breakaway roping and Ross Odde of Mound City in saddle bronc.
Black Hills State - Wyatt Treeby of Hecla in tie-down roping and Hallie Ann Fulton of Miller in women's all-around.
Also, the SDSU men's and women's teams have qualified to compete for national titles, as have the Black Hills State women. So there could be others from the area competing, as well. If there is, let me know.
The College National Finals Rodeo has a history in South Dakota. Vermillion hosted the event in 1966 and Deadwood in 1969. In that 1969 event, Lonnie Hall of Black Hills State won the bull riding national title.
There have been several South Dakota national champions in rodeo. The earliest one I found was South Dakota State's Carlee Obervy, who won the barrel racing title in 1964.
Rodeo II: Speaking of rodeo, the South Dakota High School Rodeo Association Finals Rodeo will be June 19-23 in Belle Fourche. There were regionals held last weekend and this weekend in Dupree and Watertown.
John Papendick is the managing news-sports editor for the American News: firstname.lastname@example.org.