MONTICELLO, Ark. – Highlighted by a pair of individual first-place performances, East Mississippi Community College claimed the women's team title of the 13th annual Boll Weevil Stampede Rodeo hosted this past weekend by the University of Arkansas at Monticello. The three-day event concluded Saturday night at the Drew County Fairgrounds.
The women's team victory marked the 11th overall team title in NIRA Ozark Region regular-season competition for EMCC since the rodeo program's inception in 2010. Now with four women's team regional rodeo event titles over the past decade, the victory this past weekend marked the Lady Lions' first team title since winning at Arkansas-Monticello three years ago. The most recent of EMCC's seven Ozark Region men's team event titles came during the 2017-18 fall season opener hosted by Pearl River Community College in Hattiesburg.
During the three days of rodeo competition in Monticello, the EMCC women totaled 420 team points to outdistance host UAM (295 pts) and Tennessee-Martin (290 pts) atop the women's standings. The EMCC men finished fifth with 120 points. Missouri Valley College edged UT Martin, 690-600, to claim the men's team title.
Individually, freshman Blair Bryant (Hatchechubbee, AL) garnered women's all-around honors by totaling 180 team points for the Lady Lions. In addition to claiming the breakaway roping title with 130 points on a pair of 2.5-second runs, Bryant also partnered with Pearl River's Zeak Shorter to split 100 points in the team roping event with a second-place time of 8.0 seconds during the first round.
EMCC sophomore Carli Hodges (Summerdale, AL) captured her third barrel racing title of the season by earning 140 points with runs of 15.48 and 15.94 seconds. Having also prevailed earlier this season at regional events held at West Alabama and Southern Arkansas, Hodges has now taken over the top spot in the 2018-19 Ozark Region's barrel racing standings with 705 total points.
Freshman Kayley Kennemer (Anderson, AL) collected the other 100 points for EMCC's winning team effort by finishing third in breakaway roping following a second-round effort of 2.4 seconds.
Also for the EMCC women, freshman Abbey Jo Kilgore (Jasper, AL) earned 90 individual points by tying for fourth place in the barrel racing competition after posting a 15.62-second showing during the second round.
In the men's competition, EMCC sophomore transfer Myles Neighbors (Benton, AR) grabbed 60 points by tying for fourth place in the steer wrestling event. Also for the Lions, Weston Pender (Poplarville) and Clay Green (Pine Grove, LA) combined to earn 60 points between them in team roping.
Coach Morgan Goodrich's East Mississippi rodeo teams will next compete, April 11-13, at the University of Tennessee at Martin before concluding regular-season competition, April 25-27, at Northwest Mississippi Community College in Senatobia.