MAGNOLIA, Ark. – The East Mississippi Community College rodeo teams continued their successful fall season by claiming the men's title and posting a third-place women's finish this past weekend at the Southern Arkansas University Intercollegiate Rodeo. The three-day NIRA Ozark Region event concluded Saturday night at Story Arena on the SAU campus.
On the heels of the EMCC women's team most recently prevailing at the Three Rivers College-hosted rodeo a month ago in Sikeston, Mo., the EMCC men took their turn atop the leaderboard by edging out Missouri Valley College, 610-580, this past weekend in Magnolia, Ark. The University of West Alabama finished third in the men's competition with 530 team points.
In the women's competition, host Southern Arkansas topped Arkansas-Monticello, 305-220, for the team title. EMCC followed with 180 team points to grab third place ahead of Missouri Valley.
Individually for the Lions, the sophomore tandem of Weston Pender (Poplarville) and Clay Green (Pine Grove, LA) combined for 290 team points between them in claiming their second straight team roping title with a winning time of 6.6 seconds in the second round. The duo also brought home top team roping honors at last month's Three Rivers College rodeo.
On the heels of earning three consecutive steer wrestling titles to begin the fall collegiate season, EMCC sophomore Myles Neighbors (Benton, AR) collected second-place honors in the SAU event after posting times of 5.8 and 4.8 seconds to finish runner-up in the average and secure 150 points. The 2018 Jr. Ironman champion also picked up 20 points in the tie down roping event this past weekend.
Rounding out the Lions' scoring at Southern Arkansas, freshman Sam Morgan (Davie, FL) garnered 150 total points for the EMCC men by tying for third place (90 pts) in team roping and sharing fourth-place honors (60 pts) in the steer wrestling event. Morgan, who will participate in next year's Jr. Ironman Championship, partnered in team roping with former EMCC cowboy Jacob Watt, who now competes for West Alabama.
On the women's side this past weekend, freshman Jaylie Matthews (Wynne, AR) again paced EMCC by earning 110 points with a third-place tie in the barrel racing competition after winning the opening round with a 15.41-second effort. Currently the world's second-ranked barrel racer in the International Professional Rodeo Association, Matthews earlier this fall claimed top honors in her specialty event during consecutive Ozark Region rodeos held at West Alabama and Three Rivers College.
Sophomore Kayley Kennemer (Anderson, AL) rounded out the EMCC women's scoring at SAU by collecting 40 points in barrel racing and 30 points in breakaway roping.
Coach Morgan Goodrich's East Mississippi rodeo teams will close out the fall portion of their 2019-20 NIRA Ozark Region schedule, Nov. 21-23, at Murray State University in Murray, Ky.