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December 10, 2013
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU fishermen land invitation to nationals

Slippery Rock University’s best known fishermen, Tyler Branca, a geology, geography and environmental studies major from Hermitage, and Benjamin Tawney, a graduating senior management major from of Stoystown, finished ninth in the recent college tour's Northern Conference Invitational on Chesapeake Bay and will represent SRU at the nationals in March.

The top-10 teams qualified for the national event set for early next year where the winning team will land $30,000 and a bass boat for their school fishing club. The winners also get to compete in the Forest Wood Cup, according to

Both Branca and Tawney are members of the Bass Fishing Club at SRU.

They earned ninth place by catching 7 pounds 2 ounces. “But the fishing was rough,” Tawney said. “We only caught two fish in the entire tournament.” Winners are determined by total weight caught. At the conclusion of the tournament, teams submit up to five fish, with winners determined by total overall weight. Some 45 teams competed in the latest tournament.

Tawney will graduate this month, but has enrolled in SRU’s master’s of business administration program and will be permitted to fish in a number of upcoming tournaments, including the national competition, because of his student status.

The national tournament runs March 6-8 at Lake Keowee in Seneca, S.C.

West Virginia University took this year’s top prize, $4,000, with just over 19 pounds of bass.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.