Family: Parents, Todd and Beth; brothers Coy (29), Travis (21), sister Katie (24).
Favorite athlete: Jeff Gordon.
Favorite team: Anaheim Mighty Ducks.
Hobbies: Hunting, fishing, bowling.
Best advice received: “Be in it to win
Best athletic memory: “Making the national high school finals rodeo last year in calf (tie-down) roping.”
Drew Cowan made the most of his chances locally, and has earned another chance to showcase his talents nationally.
Cowan won the boys’ all-around title at the South Dakota High School State finals, which concluded Sunday in Belle Fourche. Drew won the tiedown roping title and finished second to his cousin, Tate Cowan of Fort Pierre, in boys’ cutting. The top four finishers in each event will advance to the 64th annual National High School Finals Rodeo which will take place July 15-21 in Rock Springs, Wyo.
For his efforts, Cowan is the American News Athlete of the Week.
Preparation was a key for success for the recent Highmore-Harrold graduate during the state finals.
“I was practiced up, my brothers and my dad helped me out,” said Cowan. “I was working on a good horse and it all fell together.”
At Belle Fourche, Cowan also competed in steer wrestling, and team roping with partner and state steer wrestling champ Jhett Williams of Parade. In the all-around competition, Drew earned 1891 ⁄
2 points to edge his cousin by 91 ⁄2 points. The cousins frequently enter the same rodeos. While they compete against each other in many events, they help each other as well, sharing information on livestock and preparing before events.
This is Cowan’s second trip to the national finals, where he finished third in tie-down roping last year. He is a veteran of four state finals rodeos and doesn’t let any pressure rattle him.
“It’s just another rodeo, and one of those deals where you have to do your own thing,” he said.
Having a solid support system of his family is a definite advantage. His parents and brothers have set the example for him to follow.
“My parents and brothers do it,” Cowan said. “It’s something that is a style of life around here.”
When it comes to influences, Cowan said he learns by watching others compete, plus he relies on the knowledge and support of his family as well.
“I just watch everyone and try to learn,” he said. “If there was anyone (who influences me), it would have to be my dad and brothers.”
Cowan doesn’t favor one event he does over the others. He prefers to approach them equally.
“I treat them all the same, practice every one a lot and try to do good in all of them,” he said.
The rodeo season is a busy one for Cowan, who recently got his Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association card. When he’s not competing, he can be found working on the family’s ranch outside of Highmore. While having not decided on a college yet, Cowan plans to attend while keeping active in rodeo at the same time.
“I plan to focus on getting a degree and staying sharp with my rodeo skills, and try to rope when I can,” he said.
Cowan looks forward to his return trip to the nationals, calling it “thrilling”.
“It’s really pleasing to work at something and have it finally pay off.
It will be a pretty good challenge,” said Cowan. “I came close to winning last year. Hopefully, I’ll go back and luck will help me out.”