EMCC claims second women’s rodeo team title in weeks
MONTICELLO, Ark. — For the second time in three weeks, East Mississippi Community College claimed a women’s rodeo team title along with a second-place men’s team showing this past weekend at the Weevil Stampede hosted by the University of Arkansas at Monticello. The three-day rodeo concluded with Saturday’s championship round at the Drew County Fairgrounds.
The EMCC women bettered their previous program record of 480 team points set last month in Meridian by scoring 545 team points at UAM to secure their ninth region event team title since the school’s inaugural rodeo season in 2010-11. EMCC has now won three women’s team titles during the current Ozark Region rodeo season, winning the spring season opener in Meridian and also prevailing last October at the Southern Arkansas rodeo.
While the EMCC men’s team totaled 530 points in placing second behind Missouri Valley College this past weekend, East Mississippi’s teams also combined for 1,000+ points for the second time in three weeks. The 1,075 combined team points recorded by EMCC at the Arkansas-Monticello rodeo rank second in school history behind the program-record 1,190 combined team points earned at the East Mississippi-hosted rodeo three weeks ago in Meridian to open the spring season.
EMCC’s women out-distanced team runner-up Missouri Valley College by 280 points this past weekend, while the nationally top-ranked Missouri Valley men’s team posted a winning total of 1,060 points. West Alabama claimed third-place team honors in both the men’s and women’s competitions.
EMCC’s standout sister tandem of Jaylie and Taycie Matthews (Wynne, AR) combined to collect 330 points between them while finishing first and second, respectively, in the barrel racing competition. Jaylie, the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s top-ranked barrel racer during the COVID-shortened 2019-20 season, earned the maximum 180 points this past weekend with winning runs of 14.82 and 14.84 seconds to claim her sixth career collegiate barrels win. Her younger sister, Taycie, who entered spring competition as the NIRA’s second-ranked collegiate barrel racer, collected 150 points at UAM with runs of 15.17 and 15.18 seconds.
Also in barrel racing, Mikayla Joh Almond (Olin, NC) placed sixth in the event to earn 40 points and give the EMCC women 370 total points in the barrel racing competition.
EMCC also picked up 175 additional points with Blair Bryant’s first-place finish in the breakaway roping event. The Hatchechubbee, Alabama native earned the title by posting winning times of 2.4 and 2.5 seconds.
Leading the way for the EMCC men this past weekend, former national collegiate all-around champion Marcus Theriot (Poplarville) paired with Cole Curry (Liberty) to claim the team roping title and collect 320 team points between them following their winning short-go effort of 5.3 seconds.
Also in the team roping event for the Lions, Matt Watt (Scooba) teamed with his brother, Jacob from West Alabama’s team, to score 80 points apiece for a fourth-place finish. EMCC’s Blake Crawford (Felda, FL) picked up 20 individual points by teaming with Southern Arkansas’ Brody Forsyth.
The Lions also collected 90 team points with Myles Neighbors’ (Benton, AR) third-place finish in the steer wrestling event, including a winning first-round effort of 3.6 seconds.
Rounding out the men’s team scoring for EMCC, West Smith (Emmet, AR) picked up 40 points in the tie-down roping competition. EMCC’s Curry also advanced to the championship round of tie-down roping.
Coach Morgan Goodrich’s nationally top 10-ranked East Mississippi rodeo teams are scheduled to continue NIRA Ozark Region competition, April 15-17, at the University of Tennessee at Martin.