EMCC opens spring rodeo slate with second-place finishes
MERIDIAN — Host East Mississippi Community College claimed runner-up team finishes in both men’s and women’s competition this past weekend during the school’s 10th Annual Intercollegiate Rodeo. The three-day event concluded with Saturday night’s championship round held at the Lauderdale County Agri-Center.
In the opening rodeo of the Ozark Region’s spring slate, EMCC claimed the top two spots in the team roping competition to secure second-place men’s honors with 715 total team points. On the women’s side, all 210 of the team’s points were earned in the barrel racing event. Missouri Valley College captured both team titles with 940 men’s points and 585 women’s points.
Highlighting the men’s results for EMCC, brothers Cooper and Cade Cowan claimed their third straight team roping regional event title dating back to last fall by posting times of 6.7 and 5.6 seconds this past weekend. The tandem out of Marshall Academy capped the fall campaign with region wins at Southern Arkansas and Murray State.
Right behind the Cowan brothers was the EMCC duo of Laine Moore (Albertville, AL) and Tanner Brown (Florence), who collected 280 team points between them with a second-place finish in team roping. The pair followed up a 7.8-second effort in the first round with a winning time of 5.5 seconds in Saturday’s short go.
Also in team roping competition, the pairing of Clay Livengood (Cleveland, NC) and Josie Luttrell (Morganfield, KY) earned 50 individual points apiece for EMCC. In addition, Kyla Matthews (Athens, TN) teamed with Southern Arkansas’ Brody Forsyth to collect 40 individual points each in the team roping event.
While garnering 450 team roping points for team scoring purposes, EMCC also had three other cowboys who combined to secure the Lions’ remaining 265 team points. Gavin Lee (Poplarville) collected 130 total points by finishing third in steer wrestling and sixth in bareback riding. Matt Watt, from Kemper Academy, earned 80 points with a fourth-place showing in tie down roping, while Myles Neighbors (Benton, AR) rounded out the men’s scoring for EMCC by finishing sixth with 55 points in steer wrestling.
Additionally for East Mississippi, sisters Jaylie and Taycie Matthews (Wynne, AR) combined to earn all 210 of the team’s points on the women’s side in the barrel racing event. Jaylie, the nation’s No. 1-ranked collegiate barrel racer heading into the spring season, finished just behind West Alabama’s Rebecca St. Martin with times of 14.87 and 15.08 seconds. Taycie placed fourth with runs of 15.02 and 15.05 seconds.
Coach Morgan Goodrich’s East Mississippi rodeo teams will continue their spring slate this week (March 24-26) at the Pearl River Community College-hosted Ozark Region event taking place in Poplarville.