Vest nabs ninth in poles at rodeo finals

Vest, above at a recent rodeo, is 15th in pole bending after the first go-round.

Hollister’s Katie Vest took 9th overall in the pole bending
event at the NHSRA finals last week
Farmington, N.M.

Up against plenty of stiff competition, Hollister’s Katie Vest recorded an average time of 60.968 seconds in pole bending last week at the National High School Rodeo Association finals in Farmington, N.M., and finished in ninth place overall out of 178 competitors.

Vest received a belt buckle for finishing in the top 10, which she accomplished by recording two of her best times ever.

Vest’s first go-round time of 20.386 seconds (15th overall) was a personal best for the recent graduate of San Benito High School. After a second go-round time of 20.464 seconds (34th overall) qualified her for the short go, Vest didn’t disappoint, recording a 20.118-second run (8th overall).

Improving upon her 15th-place standing at last year’s NHSRA finals, where she compiled a total time of 62.431 seconds, Vest is pleased to be finishing her high school career in rodeo with a brand new belt buckle.

“It was a lot tougher than last year,” said Vest, noting the 12 19-second runs that took place last week. In fact, had Vest recorded her 60.968-second average at last year’s finals, she would have finished fourth overall.

“It was really competitive this year,” she said. “It was the last year I’d run poles because it’s not a college event, so I just went for it.”

Vest, 18, will be attending West Hills College in Coalinga in the fall.

Despite sitting in ninth place overall, Vest was just a little more than eight-tenths of a second out of first place, which was won by Darby Shope of Longville, La. (60.107 secs).

“It’s really good to finish in the top 10,” Vest said. “I was a little surprised [my time] didn’t place better, but the girls were so much tougher this year.”

2008 National High School Rodeo Association Finals

Katie Vest competed in pole bending at last week’s NHSRA finals in Farmington, N.M.

First go-round: 15th overall, 20.386 seconds

Second go-round: 34th overall, 20.464 seconds

Short go-round: 8th overall, 20.118 seconds

Final average: 9th overall, 60.968 seconds

1st place was Darby Shope in 60.107 seconds

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