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Mizzou Engineering concrete canoe team races to top-three finish

Mizzou's canoe was on display at Kansas University during the "aesthetics" portion of the competition. Photo by Misty Fletcher

Buoyed by strong race performances, Mizzou Engineering’s concrete canoe team finished third in this year’s American Society of Civil Engineers regional competition.

“Our team’s hard work on the canoe design and team experience really helped us place well,” said Casey O’Laughlin, the team’s co-captain.

MU competed against nine other student teams on April 27—29 at Kansas University in contests focusing on canoe speed, aesthetics and design and oral presentation proficiency. Mizzou did best in the racing portion of the annual competition, finishing third behind first-place Oklahoma University and second-place Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

MU placed third overall as well, with Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville finishing first in the final standings and Oklahoma University coming in second.

Mizzou team members already are planning for next year’s competition. The team aims to build a concrete canoe next year that will be substantially lighter than this year’s vessel, which weighed in at about 330 pounds, O’Laughlin said.

“A lighter, more sleek canoe will aid in the aesthetic as well as the racing portion of the competition,” O’Laughlin said. “Also, MU placed in the top three this year in the races with a boat that weighed almost twice what the teams finishing above us weighed; a lighter canoe will almost certainly aid in our racing ability.”