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June 19, 2012
By Mike Wolterbeek
The University of Nevada, Reno concrete canoe team battled fiercely on the water and in the lecture hall, finishing fourth overall in the 25th National Concrete Canoe Competition Saturday. For the third year in a row, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo won the American Society of Civil Engineers event, this year hosted by the University of Nevada, Reno.
"The College of Engineering and the University have much to be proud of: a very successful organization of a major national event; a wonderful opportunity to showcase regionally and nationally the many wonderful aspects of the college and the University; the continued success of our student team in a very rigorous competition," Manos Maragakis, dean of the College of Engineering said. "This exemplifies the commitment of the college to excellence and national prominence, and made all of us very proud."
The Nevada team finished second in the women's endurance race, third in the men's endurance, third in the women's sprint, third in the men's sprint and first in the coed sprint for third overall in the paddling events. The races account for 25 percent of the teams' scores. The team placed second for the paper detailing the design and construction of their canoe, seventh for the oral presentation on their year-long effort and 11th in the final product/display category.
After a day full of races, top finisher Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo was just shy of the overall total points record in the history of the event, and was several points ahead of second place Universite Laval, out of Canada. Third place Michigan Technological University came in third with the University of Nevada, Reno a very close fourth place finish. Nevada scored a 54.2 and Michigan Tech's total score was 54.3. Nevada has finished in the top six at nationals in the past six years and the top five in the last five years, with a first place win in 2008.
More than 500 students and faculty advisors from 22 universities around the country and Canada participated in the grueling three-day academic and athletic battle that included events on the University of Nevada, Reno's campus and at the Sparks Marina Lake in the City of Sparks, next door to Reno.
Throughout the year, teams of civil engineering students from 200 universities logged thousands of hours researching, designing and constructing their concrete canoes in search of the winning combination of creativity, knowledge and teamwork. After coming out on top in regional competitions throughout the spring, the best and brightest from the top engineering schools matched wits and skills in the national finals.
The winning team received a $5000 scholarship and a trophy. The second place team overall received a $2500 scholarship and trophy, and the third-place team received a $1,500 scholarship and a trophy.
The complete 2012 rankings are:
Rank - School
"There are three factors behind the success of the competition and the performance of our team: the students who rise up and the do the work, alumni who provide support and technical expertise and our sponsors," said David Sanders, civil engineering faculty member and concrete canoe team advisor. "Without all three, this top-five finish and successful event would not have been possible".