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Lane Berg knew early he wanted to ride bucking bulls.

Now, the Dickinson State rodeo standout is hoping to make a career out of it.

Berg will be one of 40 top pros in Bismarck tonight for the PRCA Xtreme Bull Riding event at the Event Center.

"When I was young, my dad was involved in rodeo and that's where my motivation came from," the Chaffee native said. "I fell in love with it at a young age and just kept going with it through high school and now into college and hopefully beyond.

"The adrenaline rush you get, there's really nothing else like it."

The Xtreme Bulls are a one-day event with each rider getting only one shot. Points toward the Wrangler National Finals in Las Vegas, plus cash prizes, are on the line.

Friday and Saturday will bring more than 250 contestants in all seven rodeo events from 15 states and Canada pitted against stock from Mosbrucker Rodeo of Mandan and Bailey Pro Rodeo from Velva.

Tonight's main event will be the first of the year for Berg, who is a senior at Dickinson State. He's been competing in pro rodeos the last few years.

"I've been going at it for a couple years now," he said.

Berg is hoping to be riding the best bulls for many years to come.

"If it would come to that, that's exactly what I want to keep doing," he said. "Whatever happens, happens. I know I have to put the work in whether it's working out in the gym, practicing on the bucking machine, riding horses.

"You have to be willing to improve your physical strength and your mental strength and even that doesn't guarantee it's going to happen."

Berg is majoring in agricultural studies at Dickinson State and is learning under coach Eudell Larsen, a pro rodeo cowboy himself.

"He has so much knowledge. It's been great to be able to learn from him," Berg said.

As it typically is, tonight's event will be a family affair for the Bergs.

Lane's brother Wade also will be in action. There's a hint of sibling rivalry, but family does come first.

"It's cool to not only be competing against some of the best guys in the world, but against my brother," Lane said. "Honestly, I'm always rooting for him to do well more than anything else. 

"We're excited and looking forward to it. Hopefully, we can do well and put on a good show for the fans."

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Reach Tribune sports editor Dave Selvig at (701) 250-8246 or david.selvig@bismarcktribune.com

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