MARTIN, Tenn. -- The Missouri Valley College men's rodeo team held off a challenge from the host team last week to win the Tennessee-Martin Rodeo, 795 to 780 points.
The Vikings' sixth title of the season widened their lead over UTM to 1,260 points in the quest for a fifth straight NAIA Ozark Region championship. Senior Cody Metsker led the charge by winning the all-around cowboy award with 290 points.
Metsker and sophomore Hunter Lewis -- who garnered a second-place 220 points, although they didn't count in the team tally -- won team roping by 1.6 seconds over a Skyhawk duo. Metsker also placed second in steer wrestling.
Senior Tanner Aus won bareback riding and currently holds down second place in the national standings. Junior Jordan Corrigan won the first go-round and was second overall to log 160 points in saddle bronc riding.
Each scoring in two events, seniors Ben Runyon and Will Crain added 165 points for Valley.
The Lady Vikings (325 points) came in second to Tennessee-Martin (495) in the meet, and now trail the region's second-place team by over 368 points in the bid for a spot in the College National Finals Rodeo.
Junior Korah Agre garnered 145 points by placing fourth in breakaway roping and fifth in goat tying, which was won by junior teammate Shelby Jacobson for 175 points.
Although they didn't add to team scoring, freshman Kasey Struxness, senior Dana Fricker and junior Megan Baxter took the top three spots in breakaway.
Northwest Mississippi Community College will host the final two rodeos in the regular season, today through Saturday and then again next week.
The Valley softball team suffered their first home sweep of the season Tuesday, dropping a pair of one-run Heart of America Conference contests to Evangel, 3-2 and 2-1.
The Lady Vikings took a 2-0 lead into the seventh inning of the opener after scoring twice in the fifth when junior Esperanza Rothwell singled, senior Janie Jungermann walked and both came in on a dropped fly ball.
Junior Kim Lopez was working on a four-hit shutout before back-to-back doubles by senior Samantha Clowdus and freshman Jessica Jett tied the contest. A throwing error allowed the go-ahead run to score and the Crusaders worked around Rothwell's lead-off single in the bottom of the inning to claim the victory.
Sophomore Danielle Billings' single gave Evangel a first-inning lead in the nightcap, but Jungermann blanked the visitors over the next six frames and provided a sacrifice fly to tie the game after junior Paige Savage began the fifth inning by drawing a walk.
The Lady Crusaders pulled ahead in the eighth on three straight one-out singles from juniors Lauren Bunch, Courtney Orange and Danielle Luebke. Valley went down in order during its final at-bat.
Sophomore Katelyn Tolle got both wins in relief for Evangel (29-11, 10-6 HAAC).
The Lady Vikings (11-19, 3-9) have three series left in the regular season, hosting Baker today.
LIBERTY -- The MVC track and field team qualified two athletes for the NAIA Outdoor Championships during Saturday's Darrell Gourley Invitational at William Jewell.
Freshman Billi Pipes won twice, getting her qualifying time in the 100-meter dash (12.05 seconds) and also placing first in the 200 (25.86). The Lady Vikings were third in the team standings with 96 points, thanks to four more gold medals.
Freshman Ausset Culberson won the 400 low hurdles (1:02.41) and kicked off the first-place 3,200-meter relay (10:23.65) ahead of freshman Sara Niemeier and sophomores Tia Rider and Hannah Wood.
Freshman Gabby Lovelace was first in the high jump (1.50 meters), as was junior Trina Williams in the triple jump (9.11). Senior Sara Stafford took second place in the shot put (12.93).
Also headed to nationals is junior Jon Leonard after taking first in the 110 high hurdles (14.86). He was also second in the high jump (1.77).
The Valley men won the 3,200 relay (8:16.60) behind sophomores Ignacio Franco and Kenneth Kipng'etich and juniors Kyland Sims and Drew Mohler. The Vikings (62 points) were fifth in the team standings.
The host Cardinals won both the men's (178) and women's (149) titles.
Valley will compete Friday in the Central Missouri Mule Relays at Warrensburg.