EMCC collects 3 titles at UWA rodeo


From school reports

MERIDIAN — The East Mississippi Community College rodeo teams claimed three individual event titles during this past weekend’s UWA College Rodeo Showdown, while earning a second straight third-place men’s team finish and placing fourth in the women’s competition.  The three-day rodeo hosted by the University of West Alabama concluded Saturday night at Meridian’s Lauderdale County Agri-Center.

Highlighted by first-place individual finishes in the tie-down roping and steer wrestling events by Marcus Theriot (Poplarville), the EMCC men totaled 440 team points to finish behind runner-up UT Martin (545 pts) and winner Missouri Valley College (890 pts).

On the women’s side, sophomore Jaylie Matthews (Wynne, AR) won her fourth regional event title in barrel racing to earn 120 of EMCC’s 180 team points.  Southern Arkansas University captured the women’s title with 425 team points over Missouri Valley College (285 pts).

Theriot, the former College National Finals Rodeo all-around and tie-down roping national champion, garnered all-around honors at the UWA-hosted event by collecting 320 total points with his pair of first-place finishes.  Along with sweeping the steer wrestling competition with winning times of 5.1 and 4.6 seconds to earn the maximum 180 points, Theriot also earned 140 points in claiming the tie-down roping title following runs of 8.9 and 11.3 seconds.

The EMCC men also received 60 team points apiece from Myles Neighbors (Benton, AR) and team roper West Smith (Emmet, AR).  On the heels of winning the steer wrestling event at the season-opening Ozark Region rodeo at Missouri Valley College, Neighbors had to settle for 40 points with his first-round run of 6.9 seconds this past weekend.  He also paired with West Alabama’s Trevor Colby to earn 20 points each in the team roping competition.  Smith posted the Lions’ other 60 team points by partnering with UWA’s Cooper Malone in team roping.

In addition for East Mississippi on the men’s side, freshman Matt Watt, out of Kemper Academy, paired with older brother Jacob, from West Alabama’s rodeo team, to place second and collect 100 individual points apiece in team roping following a second-place, championship-round run of 6.2 seconds.  The brother tandem opened the fall season by winning the MVC team roping competition.

On the women’s side for EMCC, reigning Ozark Region barrel racing champion Jaylie Matthews recorded a winning time of 14.27 seconds in the championship round of her specialty event to win the average (28.95) and claim the first-place points.

EMCC’s other 60 team points came in the breakaway roping competition with sophomores Blair Bryant (Hatchechubbee, AL) and Kyla Matthews (Athens, TN) earning 55 and five points, respectively.

Also for the EMCC women, sophomore Mikayla Joh Almond (Olin, NC) picked up a total of 105 individual points by scoring in the barrel racing (55 pts) and breakaway roping (50 pts) events.

Coach Morgan Goodrich’s East Mississippi rodeo teams will take a couple of weeks away from competition before resuming action, Oct. 15-17, in Sikeston, Missouri.  The upcoming Three Rivers College Championship College Rodeo will be held at the Art Saunders Arena at the Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo grounds.

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