Cal Poly Concrete Canoe Team is Tip-Tops in the Nation


Cal Poly’s concrete canoe team — and a canoe named Meraki —took first place at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) National Concrete Canoe Competition, held June 17-19 at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo.

"Meraki translates from Greek into pouring one’s heart and soul into a project,” said Ian Buchanan (San Diego), team project manager. And seeing it translated into a major win was especially uplifting.

 “It’s surreal,” said construction captain Dillan Quigley (Orcutt, Calif.). “It hasn’t really hit us yet. We’re walking on a cloud right now.”

Other construction captains included Carson Burand (Pueblo, Colo.), Brandon Friedman (Northridge, Calif.), Hailey Bond (Mesa, Calif.) and Jacky Loh (Arcadia, Calif.). Mix captains were Jacky Mata (Oxnard, Calif.), Michael McMahon (Chico, Calif.), Amy Xu (Bakersfield, Calif.), Ashley Cruz (Elk Grove, Calif.) and Kyle Aube (Huntington Beach, Calif). Other team members included Scott Kaufman (Lander, Wyo.) and Grace Melgard (Boise, Idaho).

Cal Poly is no stranger to the concrete canoe winner’s circle. This marks the school’s 11th top-five finish at nationals in the last 12 years, including a three-year run of championships from 2010 to 2012.

“Each Cal Poly concrete canoe team benefits from that long-running legacy,” said Buchanan. “You have a strong base of past captains to help you with every part of the project.”

This year’s event commemorated the 30th anniversary of the National Concrete Canoe Competition, founded by the late R. John Craig, a professor at New Jersey Institute of Technology whose passion for both teaching and canoeing led him to organize the first national concrete canoe event in 1988.

San Diego State University will host the 2018 national competition.

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