VANDALIA — The McKendree University bass fishing team had three teams finish in the top 10 in the first competition of its inaugural season on Sunday at the Illinois Collegiate Bass Fishing State Championship hosted by Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville on Vandalia Lake.
The Bearcats will host the inaugural Southern Illinois Showdown Largemouth Lollapalooza Invitational Bass Tournament on Oct. 12 on Carlyle Lake in Carlyle. The tournament will run from 7 a.m.-3 p.m., and take-off will be from the Dam West Marina.
Fishing was tough on Sunday, as only five teams in the field weighed in a full stringer, including two by McKendree teams.
The Bearcats had four teams competing in the tournament field of 25 boats. Western Illinois University won the overall title with a total weight of 14.81 pounds. The duo of senior Adam Brookman (Mount Vernon) and sophomore Reece Ellerbusch finished as runner-up for McKendree with total weight of 12.17 pounds. Brookman also landed the tournament's biggest bass at 4.99 pounds.
Other McKendree finishers were junior Dustin Pendegraft (Summerfield, Ill./Lebanon) and freshman Trenton Robinson in fourth place with 10.50 pounds, freshmen Austin Chapman and Charles Kreke in seventh place and freshmen Brian McClanahan and Curtis Lilly in 12th place.
Last March 27, McKendree University announced the addition of bass fishing as its 24th sport. The program is funded by the university and does offer scholarships. The program will compete at various collegiate tournaments throughout the Midwest and South.