EMCC men take first place win in Northwest rodeo

From school reports

The East Mississippi Community College men’s rodeo team captured the program’s third team title in four years by claiming first-place honors this past weekend at the Landers Dodge/U.S. Army Rodeo hosted by Northwest Mississippi Community College.  Presented by Gateway Tire and Sycamore Bank, the three-day Ozark Region rodeo event concluded Saturday night at NWCC’s Multipurpose Arena.

Guided by fourth-year head coach Morgan Goodrich, East Mississippi’s cowboys previously earned men’s team titles at the 2012 Troy University-hosted rodeo and the 2010 University of West Alabama-hosted event following the program’s inception during the 2010-11 academic year.

Out-scoring the top-ranked Tennessee-Martin men’s rodeo team by 60 points (650-590) this past weekend, the EMCC Lions compiled all 650 of their points in two events by totaling 410 points in team roping and posting the other 240 points in tie-down roping.  The University of West Alabama and Murray State University tied for third-place men’s team honors with 545 points apiece.

In women’s team competition at the NWCC-hosted event, EMCC’s cowgirls registered a solid third-place finish with 177.5 points, just 7.5 points behind runner-up West Alabama.  Murray State claimed the women’s team championship by compiling 252.5 total points.

Individually for the East Mississippi men, the team roping tandem of Martin Walker, out of Humphreys Academy, and Tyler Watt earned 270 points between them with a composite time of 15.5 seconds.  EMCC’s regionally ranked roping duo of transfers Colt Fisher (Sulphur, La.) and Justin Pruitt (Greenbrier, Ark.) contributed 140 combined points, while Lion teammates Chase Irby and Tyler Spears also placed in the team roping event.

In tie-down roping, EMCC’s Fisher and Watt placed second and third, respectively, behind reigning national champion Zach Wilson of West Alabama.  Fisher’s combined 18.9-second effort earned runner-up honors, while Watt followed close behind at 19.8 seconds to net 140 and 100 points, respectively.  Watt, a Kemper Academy product, won the men’s all-around title at the NWCC rodeo with 235 total points to finish 25 points better than Fisher.

Also competing for the Lions, Justin Reeves, from Newton Academy, won the bull riding event.

For the East Mississippi women’s team, freshman cowgirl KoryAnn McCuiston (Greenbrier, Ark.) placed second and garnered 110 points with her combined 6.2-second showing in breakaway roping.  Teammate Hayley Joh Knox (Olin, N.C.) contributed 2.5 points to EMCC’s cause in the same event.  The Lady Lions’ other 65 points were earned by Lawrence native Katelyn Nicholson in the goat tying competition.

With their respective showings this past weekend in Senatobia, both East Mississippi rodeo teams moved up a notch in the current Ozark Region standings.  The EMCC men improved to fourth place regionally behind Tennessee-Martin, Missouri Valley and West Alabama, while the EMCC women now rank fifth in the region behind Troy, Southern Arkansas, Murray State and Missouri Valley.

East Mississippi Community College will conclude the regular-season portion of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s Ozark Region spring slate this week (April 10-12) at the University of Tennessee at Martin.