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Eagle Anglers reel in top-20 finish in national championship

PHOTO CREDIT: Ronnie Moore/B.A.S.S.

Carson-Newman students Hunter Sales, at left, and Tristan Stalsworth launch onto Lake Tenkiller in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, during the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship.

(July 24, 2018) JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — Taking on a competitive and grueling environment, Carson-Newman University’s fishing team, the Eagle Anglers, secured a 17th-place finish in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship.

Hunter Sales, of Blaine, and Tristan Stalsworth, of Jefferson City, launched onto Lake Tenkiller in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, for a fierce contest against 136 teams. Only the top 12 teams made the cut to compete in the final weigh-in on the third day.

“Our goal was to win the event, but I’m super proud of our finish,” said Sales. “Tenkiller was the toughest lake I have ever been on, and we worked extremely hard for every fish.

The team was within 2 pounds of a top-10 finish, Stalsworth said.

“Hunter and Tristan are great,” said Aaron Porter, team sponsor and assistant vice president for Enrollment Management. “They go about things the right way, and people just can’t help to root for them. They had a lot of pressure going in to this national championship. The conditions of this tournament were extremely difficult. Thankfully they are ultra-competitive, stayed composed and managed to grind out a top-20 finish. I’m so glad these two are laying the foundation for a successful program.”

Both Sales and Stalsworth said the national championship was an excellent opportunity to make connections with other anglers.

“The experience was amazing,” Stalsworth said. “It was unlike any other. Getting to meet other anglers from all over the country, getting to talk with them and get their advice and learn about their experiences — it was really fun.”

Stalsworth said the team’s sights are now set to their next competition, scheduled in October on Lake Dardanelle in Arkansas.

“We plan to hit the tournament trail hard and hope to improve on the solid season, but we wouldn’t have this opportunity without all of our sponsors and supporters,” Sales said. “I want to personally thank Stinnett Auto Group, Bass Pro Shops of Kodak, Fancher’s Campground, Carson-Newman University and President Randall O’Brien for all of the support this year.”

Information for corporate sponsors, interested anglers and direct donations is available at www.cn.edu/fish.

Founded in 1851, Carson-Newman is a Christian liberal arts university located in Jefferson City, Tennessee, among the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. The University has over 2,500 students and offers 50 undergraduate majors, as well as associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees.

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