HILLSBORO, Texas — Two cowboys from the Hill College Rodeo Team are headed to Nationals in June thanks to outstanding performances at their last rodeo at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens.
Sophomore Cutter Kaylor (Jasper) claimed the regional championship in bull riding for the season, while teammate Parker Fleet (Axtell) finished as reserve champion in saddle bronc riding.
The Hill College men’s rodeo team finished third in Athens, and the women came in fifth.
Overall, the Hill College men’s rodeo team finished third in regionals – falling just a little short of sending every cowboy to Casper, Wyoming – the site of the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR) – as only the top two teams from each region advance. The Hill College women’s rodeo team finished sixth in regionals this year.
“These athletes gave it all they had,” Hill College Athletic Director and Rodeo Coach Paul Brown said. “There is no way that you could be as close to qualifying for the CNFR and not make it as these outstanding young men were. At least half of these student athletes will be back next year to give it another shot, and I am sure with the experience they gained this year, that will put them back in the thick of things once again for 2024.”
Brown also said the men had fourth-place individual regional finishes in steer wrestling, bronc riding, and team roping, but only the top three individuals from each event advances to Nationals – unless the entire team had qualified.
Kaylor, who is no stranger to the CNFR, won TVCC with an overall score of 148 on two head – good enough to also claim the regional championship in bull riding (he was the reserve champion for the region last year).
Fleet also won the saddle bronc event at TVCC with a score of 79 – which earned him the regional reserve champion title on the season. This will also be Fleet’s third CNFR appearance after finishing as National Reserve Champion in 2019.
Other results from the TVCC Rodeo in Athens
Cole Walker, a sophomore from Springtown, finished second in the long round, third in the short round, and split the average win. This bolted him up to a fourth-place regional finish just out of a CNFR bid.
Coy Hebert, a freshman from Louisiana, finished fifth in the long round, fifth in the short round, and fourth in the average of the saddle bronc riding. Overall, he ended up fourth in the region and just one spot out of a CNFR bid.
Mason Vaculin, a freshman from Cameron, placed fifth in the short round and fifth in the average of the calf roping event. He also placed fourth overall in team roping – just one spot out of a CNFR appearance.
Chase Webster, sophomore from Utah, struggled at TVCC but still finished sixth in the year end of the calf roping and third in the year end all-around race where only the top two qualified for the CNFR.
“Although it was our last rodeo of the year, it was also the most points our men’s team had scored all season,” Brown said. “Unfortunately, both Texas A&M Commerce and McNeese State University has exceptional rodeos as well.”
The CFNR will take place June 11-17 in Casper, Wyoming. Following this event, Brown said his teams will begin a new season as early as this summer.
“We are also losing a great group of young ladies that have competed for Hill College the past two years,” Brown added. “A couple of ladies will be competing against us, and a couple will be moving to different regions. I have been blessed another year to be associated with Hill College Rodeo and these remarkable athletes.”
DID YOU KNOW?
The Hill College Rodeo program has earned a total of nine National Championships – eight in bull riding, and one in calf roping. Also, there have been 10 National Reserve Champions.