MURRAY, Ky. – The East Mississippi Community College rodeo teams closed out the fall portion of their NIRA Ozark Region schedule with a third-place women's finish and a fourth-place men's showing at the Murray State University Racer Roundup this past weekend. The three-day collegiate rodeo concluded Saturday night at the Bill Cherry Expo Center.
Having entered the Murray State rodeo ranked 19th nationally among the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association's team standings, the EMCC women earned 190 team points this past weekend to finish behind team champion UT Martin (355 points) and runner-up Missouri Valley College (260). On the men's side, the 24th-ranked EMCC Lions collected 300 team points to finish just behind third-place West Alabama (310 points). UT Martin and MVC also topped the men's team standings with 975 and 530 points, respectively.
Freshman Jaylie Matthews (Wynne, AR) once again paced the East Mississippi women's team by capturing her third barrel racing title of the fall collegiate season with runs of 13.49 and 13.71 seconds to earn 170 points. Matthews entered the Murray State rodeo as the NIRA's No. 5 barrel racer nationally with 530 total points after claiming back-to-back regional event titles at West Alabama and Three Rivers College earlier in the fall. On the pro rodeo circuit, she is currently ranked second in the International Professional Rodeo Association's barrel racing world standings.
Kayley Kennemer (Anderson, AL) secured the other 20 points for EMCC's women this past weekend in the barrel racing competition.
In the men's competition during the Ozark Region's fall rodeo finale, freshman Sam Morgan (Davie, FL) secured two-thirds of East Mississippi's team points by scoring in three different events. Along with finishing third in the tie down roping event by grabbing 90 team points with a pair of 11.1-second efforts, Morgan picked up 70 points in team roping with former EMCC cowboy and current West Alabama participant Jacob Watt. Morgan, who has been selected to compete in next year's prestigious Jr. Ironman Championship, also earned 40 points in steer wrestling at Murray State.
EMCC's Myles Neighbors (Benton, AR) continued his outstanding sophomore season by adding 90 points to his NIRA-leading points total with a third-place finish in the steer wrestling competition this past weekend. After claiming three straight steer wrestling titles to begin the fall collegiate season, the 2018 Jr. Ironman champion entered the Murray State rodeo as the nation's top-ranked collegiate steer wrestler with 650 total points.
Weston Pender (Poplarville) rounded out the EMCC men's team scoring by securing 10 points in the tie down roping competition.