View from the Hill: WKU’s Concrete Canoe Team makes history with third place finish in national competition

View from the Hill: WKU's Concrete Canoe Team Sails to Best Finish Ever
Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 11:06 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - WKU’s concrete canoe team sailed to the university’s best finish ever at a national competition this past weekend.

“Lift on three”

“We’re all super proud of third place, that is the highest Western’s ever gotten.”

WKU’s concrete canoe team couldn’t be prouder of how they finished at the 35th annual American Society of Civil Engineers Concrete Canoe Competition at Louisiana Tech University.

“I think it shows a lot of hard work, and a lot of teamwork and communication that had to be involved to make this project come to life.”

For the past nine months, the team made up of seventeen students and two instructors has poured their heart and soul into creating a competitive canoe.

“There were a lot of nights when we were up here till two in the morning working on this.  So to see all our hard work over the last year be rewarded with third place, it means a lot to all of us.”

Dubbing the canoe Mon Row, Project Manager Grayson Booher said the group decided on a theme that paid homage to Bill Monroe.

“With bluegrass music, I obviously think of Bill Monroe who’s the father of bluegrass and is actually from Kentucky and so we changed the E to a W,  you know, for rowing in a canoe and that’s how we came up with the name.”

WKU came away third overall and brought home a slew of other awards in the various categories.

“We got fifth place in women’s slalom race, fifth in women’s sprint and then fourth place in coed race.”

Even more impressive when you realize it was the first in-person national competition since 2019 due to the pandemic.

“Basically everything we were doing was for the first time.  So it was a learning curve the whole way.”

The group has utilized a number of different tools to make sure knowledge is passed on to future teams but for now, the members are reveling in this year’s success.

“It was a lot of work, it was hard, it was hot out there.  But it just like really felt really good to be out there and show everyone what we could do.”

“It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life, easily.”

With this week’s View from the Hill, I’m Amy Bingham.

Nineteen teams from around the world competed in the three-day event in Ruston Louisiana.

WKU is set to host the regional concrete canoe competition in April of 2023.

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