From West Hills College
West Hills College Coalinga's rodeo team attended the College National Finals June 10-16 in Casper, Wyoming.
West Hills College Coalinga's rodeo team attended the College National Finals June 10-16 in Casper, Wyoming.
Photo Contributed by West Hills College

Last week, West Hills College Coalinga Rodeo traveled to Casper, Wyoming for the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s College National Finals Rodeo as several of the team's members placed in the nation's top 10.

The 2018 College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) was held June 10 to June 16, and West Hills College Coalinga Rodeo competed against some of the most prominent rodeo schools in the nation, with many team members finishing high in the rankings.

“WHCC Rodeo has been very successful at the regional and national levels over the last few years with great performances by many outstanding student-athletes,” said WHCC Head Rodeo Coach Justin Hampton. “This year’s representatives to the CNFR had great years, and we were excited to see what they could do at the CNFR.”

Four of the six competitors from the WHCC rodeo team who attended the event placed in the top ten in the nation. Case Hirdes placed 4th in the country in team roping. Brushton Minton placed 7th in team roping and was also the overall Reserve All-Around Cowboy. Abigayle Hampton placed 7th in the nation in breakaway roping. Andrew Madden finished 8th in the nation in steer wrestling. Caleb Johnson and Justin Wilson both competed in saddle bronc riding and, while not finishing in the top ten, stacked up against some of the best cowboys in the nation.

The students competed in a range of individual events to face off against over 400 competitors from 11 other regions and over 100 universities and colleges at the finals.

The College National Finals Rodeo will be televised this August on ESPNU. 

This season was a good one for WHCC rodeo, with the men’s team finishing the regular rodeo season in May in 1st place regionally—earning the title of 2018 West Coast Regional Champions— and the women’s team finishing 5th. Brushton Minton of West Hills won the 2nd place Men’s All-Around spot regionally while Abigayle Hampton earned the 2nd place Women’s All-Around spot. A West Hills rodeo team member finished in the top ten regionally in nearly every category this year.

This season was also a good one for Coach Justin Hampton: he was honored with the West Coast Region Coach of the Year award at the West Coast region championship banquet in Las Vegas.

Several members of the rodeo team will now be moving on to other programs. Abigayle Hampton accepted a full ride scholarship to Texas A&M Commerce in Commerce, Texas. Andrew Madden will also be attending Texas A&M Commerce.  Justin Wilson will be going on to attend Fresno State as members of the Bulldogger Rodeo Team.