The 2018 College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) was held June 10-16 and the West Hills College Coalinga Rodeo program competed against some of the biggest 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 placed in the Top 10 in the nation. Case Hirdes placed fourth in the nation in team roping. Brushton Minton placed seventh in team roping and was also the overall Reserve All-Around Cowboy. Abigayle Hampton placed seventh in the nation in breakaway roping. Andrew Madden finished eighth in the nation in steer wrestling. Caleb Johnson and Justin Wilson both competed in saddle bronc riding and, while not finishing in the Top 10, stacked up against some of the best cowboys in the nation.
The students competed in a range of individual events against more than 400 competitors from 11 other regions and over 100 universities and colleges at the finals.
The Falcons men's team was No. 5 among two-year colleges this year.
The College National Finals Rodeo will be televised this August on ESPNU.
This season was another good one for WHCC rodeo, with the men’s team finishing the regular rodeo season in May in first place regionally — earning the title of 2018 West Coast Regional Champions — and the women’s team finishing No. 5. Brushton Minton of West Hills earned the second place Men’s All-Around spot regionally while Abigayle Hampton earned the second place Women’s All-Around spot. A West Hills rodeo team member finished in the Top 10 regionally in nearly every category this year.
This season was also a good one for Coach Justin Hampton, as 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 a member of the Bulldogger Rodeo Team.
For more information about the WHCC rodeo program, contact Justin Hampton at (559) 934-2702.
Photo from L to R: Brushton Minton, Justin Wilson, Andrew Madden, Case Hirdes, Caleb Johnson, Abigayle Hampton, and Coach Justin Hampton