EMCC rodeo claims 3rd place


MARSHALL, Mo. — The East Mississippi Community College rodeo teams combined for four individual event championships to claim third-place team finishes in men’s and women’s competition at the Missouri Valley College-hosted Viking Stampede Rodeo this past weekend.  The season-opening, three-day event concluded Saturday night at the Saline County Fairgrounds.

EMCC’s 430 team points on the men’s side were just 10 points shy of runner-up UT Martin.  The host Missouri Valley Vikings outdistanced the men’s field with 755 total team points.

In the women’s competition, only 60 points separated the top three teams.  EMCC’s 200 team points trailed host and runner-up MVC by just 25 points, while Arkansas-Monticello nabbed the narrow team victory by totaling 260 points.

For the EMCC women, freshman Taycie Matthews (Wynne, AR), the 2018 International Professional Rodeo Association’s world champion barrel racer, excelled in her collegiate debut by winning her specialty event with runs of 14.28 and 14.44 seconds to earn 150 points.  Her older sister, Jaylie, the 2019 IPRA barrel racing world champion, earned EMCC’s other 50 women’s points at MVC with a second-place, first-round effort of 14.36 seconds.

Also earning an individual title for the EMCC women in the season opener was Kyla Matthews (Athens, TN), who racked up 175 individual points in the breakaway roping event with times of 2.7 and 3.1 seconds.

Myles Neighbors (Benton, AR) led the way for the East Mississippi men by totaling 260 points with a first-place showing in steer wrestling and a fourth-place finish in tie down roping.  In his specialty event, the reigning top-ranked collegiate steer wrestler followed a 6.8-second, first-round effort with a winning time of 5.0 seconds in Saturday’s championship round to collect 160 points.  Neighbors also earned 100 points in the tie down roping event following runs of 10.5 and 12.4 seconds.

EMCC’s other 170 team points on the men’s side were courtesy of Kemper Academy product Matt Watt pairing with older brother Jacob, now competing for the University of West Alabama, to capture the team roping competition with runs of 7.0 and 7.3 seconds.

Also for the EMCC men, former CNFR All-Around national champion cowboy Marcus Theriot (Poplarville) advanced to Saturday’s championship round in both steer wrestling and team roping (with Cole Curry) but was not able to figure into the final scoring totals.

Coach Morgan Goodrich’s EMCC rodeo teams will stay close to home to compete in this week’s (Sept. 24-26) UWA Rodeo Showdown being hosted by the University of West Alabama at the Lauderdale County Agri-Center in Meridian.  The three-day NIRA Ozark Region college rodeo event will begin Thursday evening and conclude with Saturday night’s championship round.  Competition is set to begin at 7 p.m. each night with doors opening at 6 p.m.  Cost for admission will be $10 for adults and $5 for kids.  Children five and under will be admitted free of charge. 

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