Aggie Ingeniero, July 2008

NMSU Concrete Canoe Team takes first overall

After months of rigorous preparations and calculations, the NMSU Concrete Canoe team returned from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Rocky Mountain Regional Competition winning first place overall.

In early April, 36 students along with two faculty advisers boarded the bus for the 12-hour drive to Golden, Colo., to compete at the Rocky Mountain Regional Competition, a competition held at Bear Lake that demands year-long efforts in order to compete against 14 other schools from around the region in Concrete Canoe, Steel Bridge and several smaller competitions.

“It’s a lot of work,” Kenny Stevens, associate professor of engineering technology and surveying professor and faculty adviser for the Concrete Canoe team, said. The Concrete Canoe team spent months calculating the precise formula of concrete density that would allow them to meet the tests they faced at the national competition.

The team competed in several different areas that challenged the research and make-up of its canoe from PowerPoint presentations and reports to small competitions for men, women and co-ed.

The first portion of the competition was to complete a report outlining the methods and research, the team used to put together its canoe, “Quetzacoatl,” meaning “Snake God.”

The presentation, given by Adela Tapia and Sandra Chavez, received fourth for the team’s explanation of the configuration and composition of its canoe.

The team took first place in the part of the competition that examined the canoe’s concrete formula and visual appeal.
The final portion of the competition tested the canoe and the team’s capabilities in the water.

Diego Benavidez and Logan Ross placed first in the men’s sprint that tested the canoe’s agility in a 200-meter race. Charles Carrasco, Benavidez and Robert Payne placed first in the men’s endurance race that required them to paddle the canoe along a course that tested the canoe’s ability to maneuver.

Kara Hickey and Kristin Fajado took first in the women’s sprint and Adela Tapia, Ruth Juris and Sandra Chavez took first in the women’s endurance race.

The final race was the co-ed sprint in which Carrasco, Hickey, Fajado and Payne took first.

The Concrete Canoe team was comprised of students from engineering backgrounds other than civil engineering such as engineering technology.

“It’s fun, addicting, absorbing,” Stevens said, “Concrete Canoe combines the best of art, engineering and athleticism.”

The team missed going to nationals by a 9.25-point loss to the Air Force Academy. This is the second year in row that the NMSU Concrete Canoe team received first overall–an achievement they sought to repeat and improve upon this year. The team has already begun preparations for next year’s competition.

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