McKendree University anglers Dustin Pendegraft of Summmerfield and Phillip Germagliotti of Highland begin competing Thursday in the 2015 FLW Collegiate National Championship, which is being held through Saturday on Lake Murray, S.C.
The McKendree duo qualified for this three-day event in the school’s first year of competitive bass fishing.
Pendegraft and Germagliotti are one of only 50 teams from across the United States to qualify for this event. The team qualified for the National Championship by first placing ninth in the Table Rock qualifier in the spring of 2014.
From there, they advanced to the regional finals on Kentucky Lake in September 2014 and fished against the top 45 teams that advanced from the three central division qualifying events.
At the Kentucky Lake Regional finals, they led the event after day one and ended up taking third place after day two. Finishing as one of the top 10 teams at the regional final earned the team a birth to the 2015 National Championship.
The Lake Murray National Championship will feature only the top 10 teams from each of the five regional finals across the country.
“Qualifying for the FLW Collegiate National Championship is a tremendous accomplishment for our program,” said McKendree bass fishing coach Jon Rinderer. “Dustin and Phillip are both outstanding anglers, and both worked very hard to achieve this goal. They are the only team from the entire state of Illinois to reach the National Championship tourney, and I am extremely proud of their success.”