MURRAY, Ky. – The East Mississippi Community College men's rodeo team placed fifth this past weekend at the 42nd annual Murray State University Racer Roundup. The three-day NIRA Ozark Rodeo event concluded Saturday night at the Bill Cherry Expo Center.
Most of EMCC's 270 team points were earned in the team roping competition with four cowboys advancing to Saturday's championship round. Reigning College National Finals Rodeo participant Jace Harris paired with Southern Arkansas University's Logan Graham to claim first-place team roping honors and 180 points apiece by following a 5.6-second, first-round effort with a 4.9-second showing in the short-go round.
Reigning CNFR team roping reserve champions Ethan Wheeler of EMCC and UT Martin's Ross Martin collected 130 individual points each by finishing second at Murray State with an average score of 13.7 seconds. Also in team roping, the East Mississippi tandem of Garner Holcomb and Morgan Mills earned 20 points in the event with a 7.1-second run in the first round.
The Lions also had good representation in the tie down roping event as three competitors made it back to Saturday's championship round. Making his EMCC debut after transferring from Pearl River CC, Andrew Burks garnered 70 points with his first-round time of 9.0 seconds. Rivers Irby picked up 20 individual points, while Kemper Academy product Jacob Watt also advanced to the championship round in tie down roping. In addition, former EMCC cowboy Cooper Christensen, who is now competing for the University of West Alabama, won this past weekend's tie down roping title with an average score of 20.2 seconds.
Missouri Valley College swept the Murray State team titles by scoring 713.3 points in the men's competition and 510 points on the women's side. The Southern Arkansas men (565 points) and the West Alabama women (385 points) finished in the team runner-up positions.
Coach Morgan Goodrich's East Mississippi Community College rodeo teams will conclude the fall portion of the NIRA's Ozark Region rodeo slate by competing at Southern Arkansas University, Nov. 2-4, in Magnolia, Ark.