Razorback Anglers Take National Championship
Kazuki Kitajima, left, and Bodie Drake show off their trophy for winning the National Collegiate Bass Fishing championship Sept. 21.
The University of Arkansas bass fishing team secured its first national title Sept. 21 in Lewisville, Texas, defeating teams from four Texas schools in the tournament's final round.
Partners Kazuki Kitajima and Bodie Drake claimed the National Collegiate Bass Fishing championship for the Razorbacks with five bass weighing 17.37 pounds. The catch, boasting two near 4-pounders, held off Texas A&M's defending champion Justin Rackley and new partner Andy Shafer, who finished with five bass totaling 16 pounds.
"We have a strong fishing club at the University, and this win is great for our school and the club," said Drake. "It's been a great experience for both of us."
The Arkansas team was awarded a $14,000 scholarship check. Rounding out the top five teams were runners-up Texas A&M, third-place Texas Tech, fourth-place Texas A&M Kingsville and fifth-place Baylor.
Kitajima and Drake also earned the Berkley Big Bag award, receiving $1,500 in merchandise for the day's heaviest total catch.
Fifty-one schools representing 23 states competed in the three-day contest. Advancing to the championship round were the top five duos among 194 anglers. The Arkansas bass fishing club is one of many club sports sponsored by Intramural/Recreational Sports in the College of Education and Health Professions.
Bill Mock, associate director, intramurals/club sports