MERIDIAN – Host East Mississippi Community College earned a fifth-place men's team finish during EMCC's annual intercollegiate rodeo held this past weekend at the Lauderdale County Agri-Center. Presented by HMR Veterans Services, Inc., the three-day event concluded Saturday evening.
The University of Tennessee at Martin edged Pearl River Community College, 740-680, to claim the men's team title. The EMCC men finished with 325 total points. In women's competition, the University of Arkansas at Monticello earned a narrow victory (395-370) over runner-up Missouri Valley College.
For the EMCC men, the Lions accumulated a total of 520 individual points during the team roping competition. Reigning College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) reserve champions Ethan Wheeler of EMCC and UT Martin's Ross Mitchell placed second with a combined time of 14.3 seconds in this year's National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) Ozark Region spring season opener. Earning 180 team points for East Mississippi, the tandem of Tristan Martin and Andrew Burks finished third in team roping with an average score of 15.0 seconds.
Burks and Martin also contributed to the Lions' team score with fourth- and fifth-place finishes in the tie down roping and steer wrestling events, respectively. Burks, from Kiln, posted a first-round run of 8.0 seconds to earn 80 points in tie down roping, while Martin, out of Sulphur, Louisiana, collected 65 points in steer wrestling with his 10.5-second average score.
"We're very appreciative of HMR Veterans Services, Inc., for their title sponsorship as well as to all of our local sponsors for their contributions in helping East Mississippi Community College host our annual rodeo at such a terrific venue," EMCC head rodeo coach Morgan Goodrich said. "The crowds were great every night at the Lauderdale County Agri-Center and we look forward to coming back to Meridian for years to come."
The East Mississippi rodeo teams are scheduled to next compete, April 5-7, at the University of Arkansas at Monticello.