KINKAID, Ill. - The bass fishing team competed in their second to last tournament of the season over the weekend. The event was held on Kinkaid Lake, located just under two hours south of campus.
Two tournaments were held in tandem over the weekend, the Illinois State Championship and the Illinois Bass Nation Qualifier. The Illinois State Championship was started eight years ago by an Illinois university and is only open to universities located in Illinois. Each year, the winner of the event hosts next year's championship.
The Illinois Bass Nation Qualifier served as the team's first chance to qualify for the 2019 Bassmaster College National Championship, with the winning team earning their spot in the National Championship. Because of the double event format, one weigh in was held which determined a team's standings in both events.
The anglers faced winds topping 25 MPH and post frontal conditions which led to extremely tough fishing conditions. The tough conditions were well displayed at the weigh in, with only one team bringing a five fish limit to the scales. Outside of the winning team of Trevor McKinney and Ethan Jones form McKendree University, five teams only brought two fish each, seven teams only brought in only one fish, and nine teams did not bring a keeper fish to the scales.
In total, 22 fish were brought in by 22 teams, meaning that on average, only one keeper fish was caught per team. The top finishing Greenville team was the duo of Ricky Huge and Cordell Beckmann, who weighed two fish for 4.96 lbs, landing them 4th place. Cale Jausel and Ryan Rakers weighed one fish for 2.29 lbs, which landed them 11th place. Chris Brooks and Hannah Hill finished just behind in 12th with one fish for 2.24 lbs.
Due to the two tournament format, the team earned double points for the School of the Year race thanks to Huge and Beckmann's 4th place finish. Following the Dardanelle event, the team fell to 36th in the nation, but the solid finish in these events should move them back up the leaderboard. The next and final event for the season will be the Murray State Invitational, held next weekend on Kentucky Lake.