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NMSU concrete canoe students maneuver into thirteenth place at national competition

New Mexico State University?s concrete canoe team placed 13th of 23 other universities that competed at the American Society of Civil Engineers National Concrete Canoe Competition. This year?s national concrete canoe competition took place at the University of Pennsylvania at Johnstown, Pennsylvania, June 18-22.

Fifteen people stand in the water behind a canoe made of concrete.
NMSU?s ?Protogenoi? concrete canoe placed 13th in national competition. (Courtesy photo)

In three out of four different categories, NMSU?s 13-member team took top 10 honors. The team earned 10th place in the oral presentation, ninth in the combined race category, and the final product of the concrete canoe team also placed ninth.

Tiffany Turner, team captain, said after regional competitions held April 3-5 in Fort Collins, Colorado, where the team placed second, improvements were made to the design paper and oral presentation. The team also made minor changes to the stands and the display.

?I am so proud of their commitment, work ethic and their huge success pulling an all year effort together,? said Sonya Cooper, associate dean of the NMSU College of Engineering. ?They really placed 13th out of hundreds of schools that competed in the regional competition and did not advance.?

Turner said that for next year, the team wants to work on the schedule before the fall semester starts. She said she would like the team to be more prepared and work on the pre-stressing of the canoe. She also expressed interest in hoping to get young, eager members willing to take on leadership roles involved in the team.

?After going to nationals, I learned a lot. I feel re-energized,? Turner said. ?I want the concrete canoe team to be successful, not only under my leadership, but in the future.?

The team?s canoe, ?Protogenoi,? will take the place of the previous year?s canoe, ?Conquistador,? on display in the lobby of Engineering Complex II, Hernandez Hall. Protogenoi, in Greek mythology, were the first entities to come into existence and make up the very fabric of our universe. In addition to being the beginning, Protogenoi were immortal.

Kenny Stevens, engineering technology associate professor, served as the team adviser for the concrete canoe competition and has done so for the past 14 years. The team raised the majority of the funds needed for the competition; the College of Engineering and generous alumni also provided contributions.