MARSHALL, Mo. – The East Mississippi Community College men's rodeo team followed up last week's season-opening regional event title by placing second at the Viking Rodeo Stampede this past weekend. The Missouri Valley College-hosted event concluded Saturday evening at the Saline County Fairgrounds.
After claiming top team honors a week ago at the Pearl River Community College-hosted rodeo held in Hattiesburg, the EMCC Lions totaled 480 points in the steer wrestling and team roping events to finish second to host MVC (880 points) this past weekend. Southern Arkansas University followed in third place with 370 points.
Totaling 330 points, Missouri Valley College also claimed the women's team title just ahead of the University of West Alabama and the University of Tennessee at Martin with 310 and 300 points, respectively. The EMCC women finished tied for sixth with 40 points.
The EMCC men collected 310 total points in steer wrestling as Tristan Martin and Zack Varner captured the top two places in the event with 165 and 145 points, respectively. Martin, who represented the Lions this past June in the College National Finals Rodeo in Wyoming, put together runs of 5.1 and 5.5 seconds to edge out his teammate with an average score of 10.6 seconds. Varner followed close behind at 11.1 seconds with runs of 5.1 and 6.0 seconds. Martin, a McNeese State transfer from Sulphur, La., also won last week's steer wrestling title at the PRCC-hosted event in Hattiesburg.
Also for the second straight week, East Mississippi garnered top honors in the team roping competition. At MVC, Jace Harris partnered with Southern Arkansas' Logan Graham to earn 165 points apiece by posting an average score of 12.8 seconds with runs of 7.1 and 5.7 seconds. EMCC's Ethan Wheeler, the reigning CNFR team roping reserve champion, paired with Ross Mitchell of UT Martin to also contribute to the Lions' final team total this past weekend.
On the women's side, East Rankin Academy product Jadi Gibbs secured EMCC's 40 points in the barrel racing competition. Teammate Suzanne Mosley, of Pulaski, also advanced to Saturday's championship round in the breakaway roping event with a 3.7-second effort in the first round at Missouri Valley.
Coach Morgan Goodrich's East Mississippi rodeo teams will continue National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Ozark Region competition this week (Sept. 28-30) at the annual University of West Alabama Rodeo Showdown in Livingston. The three-day event is set to begin Thursday at the Don C. Hines Rodeo Complex on the UWA campus.