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June 14, 2013
By Mike Wolterbeek
The University of Nevada, Reno's concrete canoe team will hold one last training session at the Sparks Marina Saturday, June 15 before leaving Sunday to compete in the 2013 National Concrete Canoe Competition June 20-22, 2013, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The team will be making its eighth appearance in eight years at the national competition, which features 23 teams from around the country. The teams have competed and defeated hundreds of other universities in their path to the nationals.
The Nevada team took first place in the Mid-Pac regional competition in April, paddling their sleek, highly engineered, 140-pound canoe to beat out second place California State University, Sacramento and third place University of California, Berkeley - both tough competitors who have also earned berths at the national competition in past years.
This year's Mid-Pac competition featured seven universities from California. On the water, the Nevada students took first place in the men's endurance, women's endurance, men's sprint, women's sprint and coed sprint. In the academic portion, they took first place in product development and design paper and third place in the presentation category.
The regional and national competitions are American Society of Civil Engineers annual events.
The concrete canoe competition provides students with a practical application of the engineering principles they learn in the classroom, along with important team and project management skills they will need in their careers. The event challenges the students' knowledge, creativity and stamina - the design and construction takes months, along with the physical training and academic preparation.
Competitors in the 2013 national competition include Clemson University; Mississippi State University; University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; University of Evansville; New Jersey Institute of Technology; University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown; University of Oklahoma; University of Wisconsin - Platteville; California State University, Sacramento; University of Massachusetts Lowell; Michigan Technological University; Ohio Northern University; Youngstown State University; University of Washington; California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; Utah State University; University of Florida; University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez; University of Texas at Tyler; École de technologie supérieure; and Fairmont State University.