MARSHALL, Mo. – The East Mississippi Community College rodeo team opened fall competition with a third-place women's finish and a fifth-place men's showing this past weekend at the Missouri Valley College-hosted Viking Stampede Rodeo. The three-day NIRA Ozark Region event concluded Saturday night at the Saline County Fairgrounds.
Led by sophomore Kayley Kennemer, the EMCC women totaled 300 points to finish 50 points behind team runner-up Tennessee-Martin. Host Missouri Valley claimed the women's team title with 470 points. In the men's competition, sophomore Myles Neighbors secured 180 of EMCC's 320 total team points. UT Martin claimed the men's team title with 670 total points, followed by host MVC (450) and West Alabama (430).
EMCC's Kennemer earned women's all-around honors for the season-opening regional rodeo by collecting 240 total points. Along with finishing second in barrel racing with runs of 13.75 and 13.77 seconds, Kennemer also paired with UT Martin's Tyler Brooks to tie for first place in the team roping event, which included a second-round winning time of 7.8 seconds. The Anderson, Alabama native also advanced to Saturday's finals in breakaway roping.
Also placing in the barrel racing competition for East Mississippi were freshman Jaylie Matthews (Wynne, AR) and sophomore Carli Hodges (Summerdale, AL). In addition, EMCC freshman Morgan Massa (Ellerslie, GA) advanced to Saturday's finals of the goat tying event.
For the EMCC men, Neighbors, the 2018 Jr. Ironman national champion from Benton, Arkansas, dominated the steer wrestling event this past weekend by clocking winning times of 4.1 and 4.5 seconds. The Lions also received 70 points apiece from Florida natives Sam Morgan (Davie) and Blake Crawford (Felda), who finished fourth and fifth in the tie down roping and team roping events, respectively.
Coach Morgan Goodrich's EMCC rodeo team continues fall competition this week (Sept. 26-28) at the UWA College Rodeo Showdown hosted by the University of West Alabama. The three-day event begins Thursday and concludes Saturday evening at the Don C. Hines Rodeo Complex in Livingston.