MURRAY, Ky. – The East Mississippi Community College men's rodeo team enjoyed a successful weekend in Kentucky by claiming team honors and also finishing third during back-to-back, two-day NIRA Ozark Region rodeos hosted by Murray State University. The four-day Racer Roundup College Rodeo concluded Sunday at the Bill Cherry Expo Center.
After placing third as a team during initial rodeo competition held Thursday and Friday, the EMCC men's team compiled 765 total points this past weekend to garner top honors over Missouri Valley College. The Lions scored 275 team points earlier in the week to finish behind MVC (520 points) and UT Martin (395).
Over the weekend, EMCC was again led by reigning College National Finals Rodeo All-Around Cowboy Marcus Theriot, who grabbed men's all-around honors at the second Murray State-hosted event by totaling 420 points. Along with partnering with UT Martin's Douglas Rich to win the team roping competition, Theriot placed second in steer wrestling and third in tie down roping to claim an additional 130 and 120 points, respectively.
A newcomer to this year's EMCC squad after transferring from McNeese State, Louisiana native Tristan Martin collected 150 points for the winners this past weekend. The 2014 Louisiana High School Rodeo Association All-Around Cowboy from Sulphur Springs won the tie down roping event in Murray with a combined time of 19.6 seconds.
EMCC's other 195 points during last week's second Murray State rodeo were earned in the steer wrestling competition. Zack Varner finished third to collect 125 points, while North Pontotoc High School product Cooper Christensen added 70 points in the event.
Earlier in the week at Murray State, Theriot and Varner combined to account for all of EMCC's 275 points. Theriot and UT Martin's Rich collected 180 points apiece for their respective schools by winning the team roping event with a 12.7-second combined clocking. Theriot also earned 60 points in steer wrestling with Varner adding 35 more points in the same event.
The men's victory at Murray State marked East Mississippi Community College's eighth team title overall since the program's inception in 2010. Now with five rodeo team titles, the EMCC men previously won last fall at Southern Arkansas as well as at Northwest Mississippi (2014), Troy University (2012) and West Alabama (2010). EMCC's three women's rodeo titles came this past spring at Arkansas-Monticello along with a pair of team victories during the 2014-15 season at Missouri Valley College and Cossatot Community College.
Heading into their fall rodeo season finale, Nov. 3-5, at Southern Arkansas University, head coach Morgan Goodrich's EMCC men's rodeo team presently sits in third place in the NIRA Ozark Region standings with 1,330 team points. The Lions are currently ranked behind regional powers Missouri Valley (2,830 points) and UT Martin (1,575).