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CSC's Dakota Rice

Chadron State senior Dakota Rice will be riding bulls for the third straight year at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper this coming week.  He’s shown at the Eastern Wyoming Rodeo this spring, when he placed second in the event. 

Three Chadron State College cowboys will be competing next week at the College National Finals Rodeo in the Casper Events Center. They are senior Dakota Rice of Kellogg, Idaho, and juniors Kalane Anders of Bayard and Rowdy Moon of Sargent.

Each has competed at nationals previously.

The rodeo will be begin Sunday and continue through Saturday, June 16, when the finals will take place.

CSC rodeo coach Dustin Luper said he is confident all three of his contestants will do well.

“The luck of the draw always helps determine how things turn out in rodeo, but each of our guys has the experience and the ability to make the most of his opportunity,” Luper said.

This will be the third consecutive year that Rice has represented CSC at nationals. He qualified as a sophomore in 2016 by placing third in bull riding standings in the Central Rocky Mountain Region. Last year and again this year, he received the right to compete at nationals because he has been the student representative on the region’s board of directors the past two years.

Rice did not ride any of the three bulls he drew at the CNFR in 2016, but last year he earned 75.5 points and was the runner-up in the second go-round. That allowed him to advance to the finals. Even though he rode just one of his four bulls at nationals, he finished eighth in the final standings after most of the remaining contestants failed to stay aboard any of their bulls until the eight-second whistle sounded.

There will be 38 bull riders at this year’s CNFR. All of them, along with the bareback and saddle bronc riders, will compete during “Broncs and Bulls” on Sunday. Rice’s third trip out of the chute will occur during the first regular performance Tuesday night.

Both Anders and Moon transferred to Chadron State this past year after both had qualified for nationals a year ago, when they were sophomores at their former schools. Moon also qualified as a freshman in 2016 at North Platte Community College.

Anders came to CSC from Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne. He finished third in steer wrestling in the region this year, just 10 points out of second place, but only five points ahead of CSC teammate Prestyn Novak, who finished fourth, and 10 points ahead of another CSC steer wrestler, Devin Dibbern, who settled for fifth in the regional standings.

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Anders earned most of his points this year while winning the bull riding at the Lamar and Colorado State rodeos. Also a capable roper, he was the all-around cowboy at the CSU and University of Wyoming rodeos this spring.

Fifty steer wrestlers have qualified for the CNFR this year. Anders is scheduled to be in the first section of the opening go-round Monday and the last section of the second go-round late Tuesday. He’ll make his third run during the Thursday night performance.

Moon finished second in the region’s bareback standings this year. He received scores on 19 of the 20 broncs he drew, won the event at both LCCC and Gillette and placed among the top six at all but one of the remaining eight rodeos in the region.

He’ll be one of the first seven bareback riders during “Broncs and Bulls” on Sunday, will be in the first section again during Monday’s slack and make his third go-round ride Friday night.

The championship go-round involving the top 12 contestants in each event will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday.

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