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Valley cowboys reach midway point in first place

Friday, November 11, 2011

MAGNOLIA, Ark. -- The Missouri Valley College men's rodeo team finished third last week in the Southern Arkansas Rodeo.

The Vikings tallied 560 points, coming in behind the host Muleriders (630 points) and Tennessee-Martin (625). Halfway through the season, Valley still leads the Skyhawks in the NIRA Ozark Region standings, 2805 to 2295 points.

The Vikings got their single largest point total (200) from a win by senior Tanner Aus of Granite Falls, Minn., in bareback riding. Another 120 points came from junior Jordan Corrigan of Toddville, Iowa, who won saddle bronc with one of the only two completed rides during the meet.

Senior Cody Metsker was seventh in tie-down roping and eighth in steer wrestling to add 110 points. Senior Will Crain added 55 points by coming in seventh in both tie-down and team roping. Although they didn't factor into Valley's team count, freshman J.C. Hester placed third in bareback and senior Jake Johnson had fourth-place showings in steer wrestling and team roping.

The Lady Vikings tallied 98.3 points to place seventh, getting 55 points from all-around champion Lauren Struxness. The junior from Appleton, Minn., was fifth in breakaway roping and seventh in goat tying. Another 40 points resulted from sophomore Taylor Magrath's sixth place in goat tying.

Southern Arkansas enjoyed a sweep at home by taking the women's title with 385 points.

Valley will close the 2011 calendar year Nov. 17-19 at the Troy (Ala.) Rodeo.

Women's Wrestling

The Valley women's wrestling captured 10 medals Friday during the MVC Open.

The eighth-ranked Lady Vikings didn't have any finalists, but three grapplers competed in third-place matches. Sophomore Jacarra Winchester (116 pounds) of San Leandro, Calif., claimed the only bronze medal.

Winchester split her first two matches, dropping a three-round decision in the quarterfinals, then won four straight -- beating Lindenwood's Nena Garcia in the medal tilt.

Senior Danielle Curtis (143) went the distance with third-ranked Wayland Baptist (Texas) freshman Tamya Mensah and No. 7 sophomore Brittany Jones (170) dropped a two-set decision to freshman Brenda Mendoza, also from Wayland Baptist, in Valley's other third-place bouts.

Seventh-rated senior Jordan Hagerman (155) finished in sixth place, No. 2 senior Britney Heatherly (109), senior Summer Sistad (130), sophomore Frances Elfiong (143) and freshman Jessica Martinez-Ulloa (170) won their seventh-place matches and coming in eighth were freshman Krista Camarillo (101) and sixth-ranked sophomore Paloma Basulto (191).

All but one of the current WCWA Top 10 programs were represented at the meet, with No. 1 Oklahoma City winning six of the 10 individual titles. The Stars will back in town Wednesday for a dual match with Valley.

Cross Country

FAYETTE -- The Valley men's cross country team placed fourth and the Lady Vikings fifth Saturday during the Heart of America Conference Championships at Fayette.

Junior Matt Leonard (27:08.14) finished 14th and sophomore Ignacio Franco (27:39.48) was 16th to pace the MVC men. The top performers for the Valley women were sophomore Amanda Buhr (20:16.69) in 13th place and freshman Sarah Niemeier (20:40.06) in 20th.

Although the Vikings didn't make the cut for the NAIA Championships, Nov. 19 at Vancouver, Wash., Marshall will be represented. Freshman Katelyn Olvera, who as Katie Wells was a three-time state medalist for the Lady Owls, led Central Methodist to the women's title. She finished second to Baker sophomore Lauren Jaqua in the conference meet.

Baker won the men's team crown, with Graceland senior Yonas Gebretinais taking the gold medal.


The Valley football team had two members earn Heart of America Conference "player of the week" honors for their performances during last week's 52-24 win over Evangel.

Senior cornerback Wayne Williams of Fort Valley, Ga., was responsible for three turnovers. He had an interception and recovered two fumbles, the second of which he returned 70 yards for a touchdown, to earn the award for top defensive player.

The award for best special teams play went to sophomore defensive lineman Zach Thomas of Sweet Springs, forced a fumble on a kick return which led to a Viking touchdown and recorded two solo tackles.

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