FARMINGTON — Jacob Hastings of Farmington caught a whopper of a fish that earned him a year’s tuition at Unity College this fall.

The 2009 graduate of Mt. Blue High School entered the Get Hooked on Unity fishing contest July 26 for incoming freshmen, his mother, Laurie Hastings, said Friday.

“We never expected it. It was pretty amazing,” she said of the family that includes her husband, Rick.

Jacob Hastings was on a celebratory trip to Aroostook County for some
four-wheeling with his grandfather, Richard Hutchinson, and was
unavailable for comment Friday.

Valued at $20,000, the one-year scholarship will help start him toward a four-year degree in conservation law enforcement.

The seventh annual event is part of a family orientation weekend for incoming and current students, coordinator Kate Grenier said. The weekend ends with the tournament where 200 fish are tagged and released back into Unity Pond  near the college, she said. Each tagged fish carries an award; the top one being a four-year scholarship.

“The fishing conditions were great and among the countless fish caught, nine had fishing tournament tags,” said Rob Constantine, Unity College Vice President for College Advancement. “The previous record was four.”

Another student won a $5,000 scholarship and 11 won scholarships and prizes totaling $29,000. More than 400 students and their guests participated.

The private college offers a liberal arts education with an emphasis on the environment and natural resources. Hastings  is looking toward a career as a park ranger or game warden, his mother said. 

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Jacob Hastings of Farmington dances across the gym floor at Unity College July 26 after learning the fish he caught was worth a one-year $20,000 tuition scholarship to the school.

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