Black Hills State University President Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr., made a quick trip to Dickinson, N.D., last week to present diplomas to six graduating members of the BHSU Rodeo Team who were competing in a two-day event in the neighboring state. The rodeo team capped off their season with key wins and strong placement for the College National Finals Rodeo this summer.
Because the spring rodeo season overlaps with Commencement at BHSU, rodeo team members miss the opportunity to walk across the stage in front of their family and friends to publicly receive their diplomas. The rodeo and commencement timeframe conflict arose again this year; however, the six graduating rodeo team members did get “to walk” and receive the customary handshake from Jackson and presentation of their diplomas. Jackson, thanks to the generosity of BHSU alum and former rodeo team competitor Travis Lantis, made a quick trip 200 miles north to attend the Friday night performance of the Dickinson Rodeo and personally congratulate the graduates and their families at a reception that evening.
The six rodeo team members who earned degrees are:
- Colton Backhaus, biology major from Bismarck, N.D.;
- Makeesha Geiger, elementary education major from Minot, N.D.;
- Carlee Johnston, exercise science major from Elm Springs;
- Carson Johnston, business administration-management major from Elm Springs;
- Sarah Scott, business administration-marketing major from Bennett, N.C. and
- Jordan Staton, business administration-management major from Hickson, N.D.
Carlee Johnston and Makeesha Geiger both graduated with Cum Laude honors. All of the graduates completed their degrees in four years even as they competed in rodeo and were involved in other campus organizations.
“Our student athletes and families were thrilled to have President Jackson travel to our college rodeo and personally present each graduate with their diploma,” BHSU Rodeo Coach Glen Lammers said. “I really appreciate the fact that he literally goes the extra miles to support and celebrate the hard work and achievements of our student athletes. It means so much to our team.”
President Jackson congratulated the graduates for their accomplishments in the classroom and in the arena and also expressed his appreciation to the Lantis family. “BHSU has an enormous amount of gratitude for the entire Lantis family for all the things they do to make the BHSU Rodeo Program successful and for our students to succeed.”
Commencement week is typically one of the busiest weeks for University presidents across the country. Jackson’s schedule included offering a Toast to the Graduates at the Joy Center on the BHSU campus Friday afternoon, making a quick trip to the rodeo and reception Friday evening, and then leading the Commencement ceremony on the BHSU campus Saturday morning to congratulate and shake the hands of nearly 400 graduates.
BHSU Rodeo Team members finished off their season at the Dickinson Rodeo with strong wins and momentum going into the College National Finals this summer. Throughout the year, the team competes in River Falls, Wisc.; North Platte, Neb.; Fort Dodge, Iowa; Fargo, N.D.; Ames, Iowa; Sisseton; Brookings; Lincoln, Neb.; Dickinson, N.D.; and Casper, Wyo., traveling more than 9,000 miles.
The BHSU women’s team won the Great Plains Region and the men’s team placed fourth. BHSU graduate Carlee Johnston, who is planning to go on to nursing school, finished the season as Women’s All Around Champion. She also earned the region championship title in goat tying and placed third in breakaway roping and barrel racing. She is among the six BHSU rodeo team members who will be representing the University at the National Finals.
At the Blue Hawk Stampede, the BHSU women’s team earned first place and the men’s team finished third. Emilee Pauley, business administration major from Wall, earned the Women’s All Around
Award after placing third in breakaway roping. Graduates who placed in Dickinson include Colton Baukhaus, fourth in tie down roping; Carson Johnston, third in steer wrestling; and Carlee Johnston, fourth in barrel racing.
The following student athletes will be representing the Yellow Jackets at this year's CNFR:
- Carlee Johnston - Goat Tying, Breakaway Roping and Barrel Racing
- KeAnna Ward - Goat Tying
- Alyssa Lockhart- Breakaway Roping and Barrel Racing
- Emilee Pauley - Goat Tying
- Chandler Comfort - Team Roping
- Tucker Chytka - Steer Wrestling
See rodeo results below:
Great Plains Region Results:
Women's Team 1st place
Men's Team 4th place
Women's All Around Champion - Carlee Johnston
Women's All Around Reserve Champion - Alyssa Lockhart
1st - Alyssa Lockhart
3rd - Carlee Johnston
TEAM ROPING HEELING
1st - Chandler Comfort
1st - Carlee Johnston
2nd - KeAnna Ward
3rd - Emilee Pauley
1st - Alyssa Lockhart
3rd - Carlee Johnston
BHSU Results from the Blue Hawk Stampede in Dickinson:
Women’s Team 1st place (710 points)
Men’s Team 3rd place (440 points)
Women’s All Around - Emilee Pauley (275 points)
3rd - Emilee Pauley, 5.8 on two
6th - KeAnna Ward, 7.3 on two
TIE DOWN ROPING
1st - Collin Palmer, 23.9 on two
4th - Colton Backhaus, 25.8 on two.
4th - Cedar Jandreau, 22.5 on two
5th Cass Lytle, 24.3 on two
Jordan Staton 1st in the long go, 7.4
1st - Carlee Johnston, 14.8 on two
2nd - KeAnna Ward, 15.0 on two
3rd - Cedar Jandreau, 16.2 on two
5th Taylor Hanson, 17.6 on two
Emilee Pauley 2nd in the long go, 7.5
3rd - Carson Johnston, 13.7 on two
1st - Taylor Hanson, 35.71 on two
2nd - Emilee Pauley, 35.82 on two
4th - Carlee Johnston, 36.05 on two
5th - Cedar Jandreau, 36.32 on two
6th - Joeni Lueders, 36.33 on two