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Cal Poly concrete canoe team makes history with sixth national title

Concrete canoe competition resumes after two years
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Posted at 1:05 PM, Jun 15, 2022

The Cal Poly concrete canoe team returned to its winning streak with their sixth championship after a two-year delay due to COVID-19 at the 2022 American Society of Civil Engineers Concrete Canoe Competition.

The competition took place at Louisiana Tech University between June 3-5. The team competed with their space-themed canoe, Europa, against 19 other universities in Ruston, Louisiana, located about 240 miles north of New Orleans.

Eight Cal Poly engineering students won the races and finished first in the technical presentation and technical proposal categories of the competition. They finished second in the final product prototype.

Cal Poly received the R. John Craig Memorial Award, which honors the New Jersey Institute of Technology professor who spent several years promoting his vision of the National Concrete Canoe Competition to the American Society of Civil Engineers.

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Cal Poly civil and environmental engineering students, from left to right, Nick Toma, Heather Migdal, Sarah Scherzinger, and Carson Bak paddle during the coed race at the 2022 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Concrete Canoe Competition, June 3-5, at Louisiana Tech University.

He died months before the first event was held in 1988. Since then the competition has become a favorite for tens of thousands of college students in the United States and beyond, according to Cal Poly.

The American Society of Civil Engineers presented the award to the winner of the Co-ed Sprint Race as a memorial to their teamwork and dedication of Craig.

“It feels amazing,” said civil engineering senior Heather Migdal, a construction team lead. “My team and I have sacrificed so much of our time working on the canoe this year, so taking home the national title made it all worth it. It truly became a labor of love.”