The McKendree University bass fishing team turned in yet another solid performance recently at the three-day Bassmaster Carhartt Midwestern Regional Qualifier held on Lake Clinton in Clinton.
The Bearcats placed four boats in the top 16 of the 93-boat tournament to earn three bids to the Bassmaster National Championship that will be held July 28-30on Green River Lake in Campbellsville, Ky.
In the Midwestern Qualifier, all 93 boats were placed against each other for the first two days of the tournament. At that point the field was narrowed to the top 20 teams for the third and final day of competition. McKendree still had four boats competing on the final day, which was the most of any school remaining at the tournament.
Heavy rains greeted the anglers on day three for the final eight hours of competition. The McKendree duo of Austin Chapman and Curtis Lilly wowed the crowd by bringing in the largest bag of the tournament, a five-fish limit of 22 pounds, four ounces. That gave Chapman and Lilly a three-day total of 51 pounds, nine ounces to put them in first place and in the “hot seat” as the remaining boats brought in their hauls. The Bearcats’ top team for the weekend was eventually edged by a squad from Murray State University, giving Chapman and Lilly a second-place finish.
Shane Campbell and Phillip Germagliotti earned the Bearcats’ other top-five finish for the weekend. Campbell and Germagliotti grabbed fifth place overall with their three-day effort of 43 pounds, 11 ounces. Austin Niggli and Derrik Starrett claimed 12th place with a combined total of 33 pounds, one ounce, while Brian McClanahan and Braden Watt finished in 16th place for the weekend.
McKendree also had five other boats on the water during the weekend. Brock Wilke and Trent Robinson placed 25th overall, while JT Russell and Jacob Louis nabbed 29th place. Taylor Schmitt and Brady Faust finished in 48th, John Murphy and Brock Meigs hooked a 50th place showing, and Jordan Ledbetter and Brad Wyss rounded out the group in 74th position.
The Bearcats next will be in Ardmore, Okla., for the Bassmaster Carhartt Wildcard Tournament.