CASPER, Wyo. – Freshman cowboy Marcus Theriot added to his already impressive list of rodeo accomplishments by claiming the All-Around national championship and tie-down roping title in leading the East Mississippi Community College men's team to a school-best, fifth-place national finish at the 2016 College National Finals Rodeo. The week-long collegiate rodeo competition concluded Saturday night at the Casper Events Center in Wyoming.
Having previously earned the 2014 National High School Finals Rodeo All-Around Cowboy title, Theriot, of Poplarville, totaled 510 points while competing in three different events at this year's CNFR to finish 120 points ahead of reserve champion Clayton Biglow of men's team champion Feather River College. Along with collecting 260 points in winning the tie-down roping title, Theriot earned 170 points by advancing to Saturday's championship round of the team roping competition with Lane Mitchell of the University of Tennessee at Martin. Theriot also added 80 points in the steer wrestling event by winning the second-go round with a time of 3.9 seconds.
"Marcus is a true champion and an outstanding rodeo athlete," EMCC head rodeo coach Morgan Goodrich said. "His work ethic, team leadership and family values all continue to contribute to his great success in and out of the rodeo arena."
Theriot, the son of 1994 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) tie-down roping world champion Herbert Theriot, captured the CNFR's tie-down roping title with a composite time of 38.1 seconds during the week, including respective 8.0 and 8.2-second efforts during the second and third short-go rounds of preliminary competition heading into Saturday's short-go round. Following his 9.8-second showing during the finals, Theriot needed some additional help as several of his top competitors in the event struggled during their final runs on Saturday.
The team roping competition helped solidify Theriot's first collegiate All-Around championship. The 2015 Mississippi High School Rodeo Association Boys' All-Around champion partnered with Mitchell of UT Martin to turn in a 5.7-second run for third-place honors during the third short-go round. That effort qualified the tandem for Saturday's finals, where they clocked in at 9.1 seconds to place fifth with an average score of 32.4 composite seconds during the week.
In women's competition for EMCC, sophomore Katelyn Nicholson posted consistent times of 14.29, 14.28 and 14.21 seconds during the three preliminary rounds of barrel racing to qualify for Saturday's short go. The Lawrence native struggled somewhat with a 19.88-second performance in the finals to place 12th overall in the event. While also competing in goat tying this past week in Wyoming, the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association's 2015-16 Ozark Region All-Around women's champion picked up 60 points at the CNFR to give head coach Morgan Goodrich's EMCC women's team a tie for 27th place in this year's season-ending national rankings.
Though not scoring at this year's College National Finals Rodeo, Kossuth's Kody Rinehart competed in the saddle bronc riding event for EMCC to give the Lions three CNFR competitors for the second straight year.
"It was a great privilege to have been a part of the amazing experience that makes up the College National Finals Rodeo," Goodrich continued. "We're extremely proud to be bringing home two national championship titles and a No. 5 national team finish."
Sandwiched between Feather River College's first-place men's team total of 1,000 points and EMCC's 510 points for fifth-place team honors this past week in Casper were Northwestern Oklahoma State University (800 points), Panhandle State University (787.5) and Weatherford College (525).
Blue Mountain Community College captured women's team honors with 595 points, followed by Missouri Valley College (420), Black Hills State University (362), Chadron State College (315), Gillette College (295) and Southwestern Oklahoma State University (295).
The best action from the 2016 College National Finals Rodeo will be featured on ESPNU during two televised hours of recap coverage beginning at 6 p.m. CT on Thursday, Aug. 18. Additional airings of the pair of one-hour recap shows are also slated to be shown on ESPNU throughout the remainder of August.