From West Hills College

After a strong showing at the West Coast Region finals, five West Hills College Coalinga rodeo team members will move on to compete in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s College National Finals Rodeo.

The students will compete in a range of events and face off against over 400 competitors from 11 other regions and over 100 universities and colleges at the finals, which will be held from June 12 to June 18 in Casper, Wyoming.

“This is the pinnacle of the rodeo season as these individuals ended the regular season in the top three of their respected events which automatically qualifies them for the finals,” said Justin Hampton, WHCC rodeo coach. “This is quite an accomplishment being that the West Coast Region was one of the toughest regions to compete in this year. These students worked hard and truly represent our program motto ‘this is college rodeo, not rodeo college.’”

The five finalists will compete as individuals in everything from bronc riding to goat tying. 

J.T. Prather will compete in team roping as a header, after finishing 1st at the regional finals. Wyatt Cox will compete in team roping as a heeler, after finishing first in that event. 

Cassidy Barnes finished 3rd in the region and will compete in goat tying at the national finals.  Brant Grisedale earned 3rd place in saddle bronc riding. T.J. Nichols finished 3rd in bull riding.

“West Hills College is known for good rodeo talent, but we are also known for our focus on academics.  These students also represent some of our best scholars,” said Dr. Carole Goldsmith, President of West Hills College Coalinga. “In fact, Cassidy Barnes, a Liberal Arts major recently earned the JD Johnson Memorial Scholarship. At West Hills College our student athletes, like all of our students, are supported and mentored so they will achieve their goals.  We are relentless about their success and wish them all the best in the Nationals.”

As a whole, the WHCC men’s rodeo team finished the regular season fourth in the region while the women’s team finished sixth.

For more information about the WHCC rodeo program, contact Justin Hampton at (559) 934-2702.