C-N students to fish in Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship
Carson-Newman University Eagle Anglers Hunter Sales, at left, of Blaine, and Tristan Stalsworth, of Jefferson City, display some of their best catches during the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Eastern Regional, which took place on Cherokee Lake.
JEFFERSON CITY — Just two years after the club first formed, members of Carson-Newman University’s fishing team, the Eagle Anglers, placed in the top 15 in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Eastern Regional, earning them a spot in the national championship.
Students Hunter Sales, of Blaine, and Tristan Stalsworth, of Jefferson City, will travel to Lake Tenkiller in Tehlequah, Oklahoma, July 19-21 to compete in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship, presented by Bass Pro Shops.
"We set out with a goal to qualify for the national championship and are proud to say we met that goal by placing in the top 15 against some of the best anglers in the world,” Sales said of the eastern regional, which took place on Cherokee Lake on May 10-12.
“That’s all we’ve been talking about since last year,” when the Eagle Anglers club was first chartered, Stalsworth said. “To do it on our home lake, it’s a lot cooler; it’s a lot more special. To qualify in front of our home crowd, getting to weigh in on campus, was really cool, too.”
Carson-Newman co-hosted the event along with the Economic Development Alliance of Jefferson City. More than 260 teams participated. The top 32 teams advanced to the College Series National Championship. From there, the top four teams qualify to compete individually for a berth in the $1 million GEICO Bassmaster Classic — an event that, for the first time, will take place in Knoxville on the Tennessee River.
"We work really hard at this thing, so to see it pay off with a championship berth makes it all worthwhile,” said Sales, who is the club president. "Achieving our goals would not be possible without support from the community and University. We now have our sights set on bringing back a national championship to Carson-Newman University, and we need even more support moving forward."
Club Sponsor and Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management, Aaron Porter, noted the team will face food, lodging, fuel and other expenses to compete in the national championship. Information for corporate sponsors, interested anglers and direct donations is available at www.cn.edu/fish.
“I’m so happy for these guys. They’ve put in a lot of hours of practice, set a goal of qualifying for the national championship and accomplished that goal,” Porter said.
“This exposure is great for the Eagle Anglers program. Thousands of competitive anglers watched the coverage of the eastern open. Even more will watch ESPN’s coverage of the college national championship. Having a team in that tournament will help attract even more quality anglers to Carson-Newman.”
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.