March 26, 2014 3:00PM
A team of Pittsburg State University students finished in the top three in the American Concrete Institute’s Concrete Bowling Ball international competition.
Pittsburg State School of Construction students Lauren Bohannon, Storm Schnake and Blake Swaggerty finished third overall at the March 23 competition in Reno, Nev. They were the top-performing U.S. school, as teams from Mexico and Canada finished first and second, respectively.
The competition challenged teams to demonstrate the effect of fibers in reinforcing concrete. The performance category of the competition put the bowling balls through a mass test, diameter consistency test, bowling test, load test and toughness load test.
After six months of planning, experimenting and competing, the students said they were excited to perform well at the main event.
“It was certainly our goal to get to the international competition,” Swaggerty said. “We worked hard on this project, and to finish in the top three felt really good. We were up against some tough competition.”
The students advanced to the international competition after finishing first overall in regional competition in Kansas City last month.
Assistant Professor Seth O’Brien said he is proud of the way the students focused and competed against teams from across the U.S. and from five countries.
“It’s pretty impressive watching them buckle down and get to work,” he said. “These students didn’t take the competition lightly. They were there to win, and I’m very pleased with how well they performed.”