Concrete canoe team dominates regionals with first-place win

University’s team heads to nationals for ninth year in a row after sweeping the competition in all canoe categories

The University of Nevada, Reno men and women's sprint and endurance teams dominated the concrete canoe races during the 2014 Mid-Pacific Conference in Fresno, Calif. Fifteen northwestern colleges and universities compete each year in various civil engineering competitions. The University took first place overall and will compete at the national level in June.

4/7/2014 | By: Natalie Savidge  |

Months of weekend trainings and more than 3,000 man hours of design and construction work paid off in a big way for the University of Nevada, Reno's College of Engineering concrete canoe team last weekend. Thirty-nine civil engineering students competed in the two-day Mid-Pacific Regional Conference hosted by the American Society of Civil Engineers and California State University, Fresno in central California. Competitions included concrete canoe, steel bridge, transportation, water research, water treatment and Geo-Wall.

In the concrete canoe competition, teams competed for the highest score in four areas: a composite of five races, canoe aesthetics/final product, design paper and oral presentation. The co-ed races were canceled this year due to weather. The University's canoe team, Alluvium, finished first in all categories and was named the overall winner of the concrete canoe composition, which was announced during the awards banquet Saturday, April 5.

"Our paddling team dominated in the men's and women's endurance races and the men's and women's sprints," Josh Wang, the University's 2014 President of the ASCE-AGC Student Chapter, said. "We did great competing among the likes of Berkeley, Sacramento State and Tongji University and we want to thank everyone for their support of the University's ASCE chapter."

The University's water-treatment team took second place for both design paper and oral report. Throughout the competition, students also participated in athletic and team-building activities such as volleyball and tug-of-war, and engineering events like bowling, where students designed and created their own bowling balls made out of concrete.

"Congratulations to our students and faculty who continue to exemplify excellence, commitment and exemplary team work that has led to another first place in the Mid-Pac competition," University of Nevada, Reno College of Engineering Dean Manos Maragakis said. "This brings reputation and credibility to the department, the College and the University and makes all of us very proud of our students and their accomplishments. I wish you the best in the national competition."


The University of Nevada, Reno men's sprint team, Justin Chavez (l) and Vince Camilleri.

The University's concrete canoe team started in 2005 with a fifth place at the regional competition. Since, the team has placed first at regionals in 2007, 2008, and from 2010 to 2013. The team has also been an annual contender at national competitions since 2006, finishing in first place in 2008 with the Argentum team.

"Congratulations to President Johnson and the University's ASCE Student Chapter, Faculty Advisor David Sanders and Practitioner Advisor Kelly Doyle for all their hard work in continuing the University of Nevada, Reno's tradition of excellence at the Mid-Pacific Regional Conference," said Tony Lau, ASCE Region 8 Governor.

The Mid-Pacific Conference has hosted civil engineering competitions since the 1940s. Fifteen northwestern colleges and universities compete each year. The Mid-Pacific Competition also has an international flavor with Laval University from Canada in the water treatment competition and Tongji University from China participating in many events including canoe where they finished second overall. The University of Nevada, Reno will continue to train for the ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition held at the University of Pittsburgh in Johnstown, Penn., June 19-21.


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