WADDINGTON — Tristan McCormick and Stevie Mills of Bethel University took the first-day lead at the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series national championship Thursday on the St. Lawrence River.

McCormick and Mills combined to pull in five bass for 24 pounds, 9 ounces for the top spot in the standings for the tournament, which will continue today and Saturday out of Waddington.

The Clarkson University duo of James Gillis and Chris Beucler sits fourth after the first day with a five-fish catch of 21-9. Clarkson’s other team of Dante Piraino and Hunter Stone are 23rd in the 125-team field with a total of 17-11.

Clemson University’s Hunter Bond and GL Compton are second at 23-12 and Adrian College’s Hayden Scott and Griffin Fernandes hold third at 22-14.

“Definitely very unexpected,” Fernandes said on the Bassmaster web site. “We had a pretty tough practice coming into this, not highly confident going in and we just had a couple areas that we had gotten bitten on in practice that felt like we could run to and catch fish off of today, and, luckily, a couple of the spots the fish were a lot bigger than we thought. We had never caught a fish over four pounds in practice.”

Piraino, a recent Clarkson graduate, admitted to facing some pressure fishing on his hometown turf.

“There’s always pressure being the hometown team and spending all that time out on the water can sometimes get in your head,” Priaino told the Bassmaster site. “There’s a lot of emotions going through your head beforehand. You hope they stay pinned, and you have to get the big bites and grind.”

Fourth-place Gillis and Beucler are each New Hampshire natives and engineering majors at Clarkson.

“It’s awesome. I’ve been thinking about this since I was 12 and a chance at clinching a spot in the Classic Bracket is unreal,” Gillis said. “The fact that it is up north, kind of in our wheelhouse, and the fact Clarkson University is the host college is frosting on the cake.”

Bassmaster College Series Championship

(At Waddington)

Day 1 standings

(Top 60)

1. Bethel University (T. McCormick-S. Mills) 5 fish, 24 pounds-9 ounces; 2. Clemson University (H. Bond-G.L. Compton) 5, 23-12; 3. Adrian College (H. Scott-G. Fernandes) 5, 22-14; 4. Clarkson University (J. Gillis-C. Beucler) 5, 21-9; 5. Lamar State (J. Tindell-B. Fregia) 5, 21-7; 6. Tennessee Tech (J. Woods-S. Vandagriff) 5, 21-0; 7. Murray State (A. Puckett-B. Bingham) 5, 20-13; 8. Emmanuel College (C. Holloway-T. Mcmullen) 5, 20-2; 9. Bethel (J. McClosky-R. Winchester) 5, 20-1; 10. University of Montevallo (G. Morris) 5, 19-9

11. Emmanuel (D. Whaley-C. Casey) 5, 19-6; 12. Auburn University (P. McCord-C. Whitehurst) 5, 19-2; 13. Lander University (C. Slentz-E. Slentz) 5, 18-14; 14. Drury University (H. Baird-B. Browning) 5, 18-10; 15. Louisiana Tech (A. Harp-J. Higginbotham) 5, 18-9; 16. McKendree University (T. Christy-T. Schroeder) 5, 18-5; 17. Carson-Newman University (B. Cully-H. Gaddis) 5, 18-4; 18. Montevallo (J. Willoughby-C. Schwartz) 5, 18-1; 19. Auburn (S. Hanggi-S. Hoesley) 5, 17-15; 20. Kansas State (K. Simmons-B. Halstead) 5, 17-13

21. Adrian College (T. Vanbrandt-J. Layton) 5, 17-12; 22. Auburn (C. Crosby-J. Cobbs) 5, 17-11; 23. Clarkson (D. Piraino-H. Stone) 5, 17-11; 24. Auburn (R. Cruvellier-S. Harvey) 5, 17-10; 25. University of Iowa (P. Knarr-R. Lowe) 5, 17-9; 25.M. Phillpotts-Shipman 5, 17-9; 25. Florida Gateway College (J. Swisher-S. Slanker) 5, 17-9; 28. A. Carr-J. Carr 5, 17-8; 29. Tarleton State (R. Nelson-C. Cowan) 5, 17-8; 30. T. Lubbat-H. O’barr 5, 17-4

31. Carson-Newman University (J. Lambert-A. Smith) 5, 17-3; 32. Stephen F. Austin State (J. York-J. Miller) 5, 17-2; 33. Emmanuel (T. Campbell-C. Hudson) 5, 17-1; 34. Bryan College (R. Lindsey-M. Cizek) 5, 16-13; 35. University of Louisiana-Monroe (C. Nimrod-J.Andrews) 5, 16-11; 36. Wabash Valley College (D. Gill-Z. Frasure) 5, 16-10; 37. University of Nebraska-Lincoln (J. Ebbers-C. DeShazer) 5, 16-2; 38. G. Mclarry-D. Cassidy 5, 16-0; 39. Adrian (C. Ball-A. Tapley) 5, 15-5; 40. Montevallo (T. Cory-S.Sledge) 5, 15-13

41. Tarleton State (K. Tanner-T. Easter) 5, 15-10; 42. Auburn (C. Maddux-J. Maddux) 5, 15-9; 42. Montevallo (Sendek-A. Howell) 5, 15-9; 44. Montevallo (S. Glenn-R. Thomas) 5, 15-8; 45. Tennessee (R. Gee-C. Dawson) 5, 15-5; 46. Missouri State (B. Cox-K. Barber) 5, 15-2; 47. Drury University (C. Breeden-C. Smith) 5, 14-15; 48. Carson-Newman (C. Rankin-E. Minor) 5, 14-14; 49. St. Cloud State (T. Mazur-K. Witt) 5, 14-13; 50. Emmanuel (K. Smith-L. Smith) 5, 14-17

51. McKendree University (H. Marien-D. Rathbun) 5, 14-6; 52. Adrian (J. DeKoning-D. Mollenkopf) 5, 14-4; 53. Montevallo (W. Hollar-W. Gore) 5, 14-3; 54. McKendree (T. McKinney-B. Jackson) 5, 14-2; 55. Bowling Green (J. Simion-A. Strunk) 5, 13-13; 56. Minnesota State-Mankato (B. Linder-N. Thompson) 5, 13-12; 57. Bethel (H. Fillmore-C. Bingham) 5, 13-10; 58. North Carolina State (L. Anderson-T. Little) 5, 13-9; 58. Campbellsville University (D. Smith-C. Hayford) 5, 13-9; 60. Auburn (L. Parks-T. Smith) 5, 13-8; 60. Tennessee (C. Payne-C. Sentell) 5, 13-8

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