Utah wins it, 20 anglers earn a spot in the 2010 Federation National Championship

2009 Western Divisional – Final Day

The last day of the TBF Western Division Championship left 20 TBF anglers blown away, literally. As the day rolled on, anglers patiently awaited tournament results in a fury of wind. But, nothing could damper their spirits, as the tournament came to a close, naming, not only, the top two anglers from each state who would advance to the 2010 Federation National Championship, but also, the division champions in both the individual and state team standings.

The top angler from each state will advance as a boater, while the runner up advances as a co-angler. The anglers who will be representing the Northwest Division are as follows: Ariz., Jason Rayls and Jeff Erickson; Calif., Cameron Smith and Randy Pierson; Colo., Lance Tillotson and Sean Hinton; Nev., Mitch Geyer and David Malone; Utah, Wayne Crowder and Mike Bozner. The anglers who will be representing the Southwest Division are as follows: Idaho, Brandon Palaniuk and Bill Golightly; Mont., Farren (Ray) Mounts and Sid Ziegler; Ore., Edward Chin and Michael Gibney; Wash., Aaron Echternkamp and Shawn McConville; Wyom., Larry Wilkins and Tom Schachten. These anglers have fished close to home for a year or more to earn a spot on the state team and now the chance to advance to the 2010 Federation National Championship. To earn these spots, on average, these anglers paid a total of $200 in dues and entry fees per year. Now, they’ve qualified to compete for a prize purse of nearly a quarter of a million dollars, the highest in federation history.

The 2009 Western Division Champion fought his way up from a fifth place standing to be crowned victorious. Wayne Crowder, from Salt Lake City, Utah, brought in the heaviest bag today that weighed 11lb 13oz, making his total tournament weight 33lb 3oz. “I had no idea I had the big bag, I definitely had no idea that I would win the whole thing,” Wayne said. “I caught my first three, about 7lb, by 7:30am. The bed fish I was finding yesterday were starting to disappear, when it warmed up the bed fish went deeper out to more mid lake, and so I followed them there.” Wayne qualified for nationals two years ago as a co-angler, but this will be his first time as a boater, and he expressed much excitement. He also had many people to thank. “I actually borrowed a boat, a net and a prop for this event. So, I have to say thanks to Paul Reutlinger and others who helped me in that. Also, I want to thank my Heavenly Father, my wife and my Utah State Federation. I’m honored to be the Western Division Champion, and I’m eager to compete at the national tournament in 2010.”

The Utah State Federation led the way the whole tournament, and it was no surprise to see them seal the deal. Their team had a total tournament weight of 288lb 8oz, making them the 2009 Western Division Champions. The Utah Team Captain, Steve Porter, had nothing but great things to say. “We just want to thank TBF for putting on such a great event,” Steve commented. “The tournament was great, we knew what we needed to do to win, and we pulled together and did it. Everyone, as a team, we did it.”

For final standings, check out the tournament results pages