YSU grabs top 10 success at national concrete canoe competition

YSU student success is shown with the Youngstown State University concrete canoe team paddling their awarded canoe in Reno, Nevada.

YSU's successful concrete canoe team competes in Reno, Nev.

A team of Youngstown State University students successfully finished in the top 10 at the 25th annual National Concrete Canoe Competition in Reno, Nev.

The YSU team finished ninth, ahead of schools such as the University of California Berkeley, Clemson University, Oregon State and Rutgers. California Polytechnic State University finished first.

The YSU team consisted of students Nathan Knapp (project manager) of Warren, Joe Reedy of Austintown, Samantha Rovnak of Austintown, Allison McMillen of East Palestine, Mike Kaldy of Brookfield, Kim Klonowski of Canton, Mich., Justin Ambrosio of Cortland, Sentel Rodgers of Youngstown, Daniel Phillips of Geneva, Chad Kolat of Brookfield and Kevin Lang of Poland. The team’s advisor was Adam DePizzo.

“We were very happy and proud to compete with the best engineering schools in the nation and finish in the top 10,” Knapp said. “With this accomplishment, YSU is clearly one of the top engineering schools in the nation.”

The American Society of Civil Engineers sponsors the three-day competition. Throughout the year, teams of civil engineering students from across the country and Canada research design and construct canoes made out of concrete. After coming out on top in regional competitions throughout the spring, the best and brightest from 22 top engineering schools matched wits and skills in the national finals.

The competition is comprised of both academic and athletic events. Students write a paper detailing the design and construction of their canoe and then give an oral presentation. They are also judged on the success of their final product, the canoe, and their accompanying display, which further explains their design process. Finally, they put their canoe through the paces in a series of five race events—men’s and women’s slalom/endurance races and men’s, women’s and co-ed sprint races.

For more information on the competition, including photos, race results and event details, visit the ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition website.