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Cal Poly’s concrete canoe team wins national championship

Cal Poly’s concrete canoe team recently won a national championship at the American Society of Civil Engineers Concrete Canoe Competition in Golden, Colorado.
Cal Poly’s concrete canoe team recently won a national championship at the American Society of Civil Engineers Concrete Canoe Competition in Golden, Colorado.

San Luis Obispo

Cal Poly’s concrete canoe team — kept afloat by its canoe Meraki — was named the national champion at the American Society of Civil Engineers Concrete Canoe Competition held June 17 to 19 at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. The national title includes a $5,000 award.

“Meraki translates from Greek into ‘pouring one’s heart and soul into a project,’ ” said Ian Buchanan, the team project manager from Point Loma. “Seeing it translated into a major win was especially uplifting.”

Twenty teams from the U.S. and Canada competed at ASCE’s 30th annual event — advancing to the nationals from a field of more than 200 teams. The finals are the culmination of more than a year of efforts to research, develop and build a boat out of concrete. Not only did the 20 concrete canoes have to float, they also had to go fast through the water.

Cal Poly earned second place in design paper and oral presentations, and picked up third in the final-product category. On the water, men and women competed separately and in mixed teams. The women were second in the final sprints and fourth in the slalom-endurance race. The men were runners-up in sprints — finishing 1.2 seconds behind the winner — and placed fifth in the slalom-endurance event.

Cal Poly teams are not new to the concrete canoe winner’s circle. This year marks the university’s 11th top-five finish at nationals in the past dozen years, including consecutive championships from 2010 to 2012.

Cal Poly’s Meraki measured 19 feet, 7 inches and weighed 230 pounds. The team included construction captains Dillan Quigley (Nipomo), Carson Burand (Pueblo, Colorado), Brandon Friedman (Northridge), Hailey Bond (Costa Mesa) and Jacky Loh (Arcadia). The team’s mix captains were Jacky Mata (Oxnard), Michael McMahon (Chico), Amy Xu (Bakersfield), Ashley Cruz (Elk Grove) and Kyle Aube (Huntington Beach). Other team members included Scott Kaufman (Lander, Wyoming) and Grace Melgard (Boise, Idaho).

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The Laguna Ladies Golf Club had a Fun Day Fundraiser to raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Luis Obispo County. A total of 58 golfers participated and raised $1,537.64.

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