“Powered Rangers” grab second at dragon boat races
"For a team that only met and practiced one time, it was astonishing how much we improved by our final race. I'm really glad I participated."
To say UW-Parkside pre-health student Aaron Cooper was excited about Saturday's Kenosha Area Dragon Boat Festival races would probably be an understatement. Calling it "an awesome experience" and saying, "I am really looking forward to next year's races!" Cooper summed up the good feelings among the university's team members.
Held Saturday, Aug. 11, on Lake Andrea in Pleasant Prairie, the UW-Parkside tea--nicknamed "The Powered Rangers"--arrived at Prairie Springs Park at 9:30 a.m. and immediately began to prepare according to team captain and Student Support Services Director Chris Zanowski. The crew set up a tent and repeatedly practiced their paddle techniques on land. Race specifics were outlined, and the team was off to their qualifying race taking first in their division during the semifinals and second in the champion race.
Calling it "a great experience" and "the most exciting activity I have done this summer," UW-Parkside Advisor Franc Navarro said the best thing about the day was the camaraderie of people working together.
"Being part of a team that was as enthusiastic to compete as I was made the race even more exciting," said Navarro. "The crowd and supporters electrified the race with excitement and that brought out the best in you."
Between races, the Powered Rangers chilled out, eating hamburgers and hot dogs and snacking on Amy Castelic's "Powered Ranger Bars" (Rice Krispy bars augmented with Fruity Pebbles cereal. They washed all that down with PowerAde--Powered Rangers need their powered food!
"I'm really very proud of the team," Zanowski added. "It was a beautiful day; we had good food and good company. What more could you ask for? We appreciate being sponsored by UW-Parkside and we are all looking forward to the next year's dragon boat races!"Zanowski, Castelic, Cooper, and Navarro were joined in the dragon boat by their Powered Rangers crewmates Rene Acosta, Justin Aranda, Kaitlyn Bjerk, Karli Contreras, Erik Faz, Briana Gaines, Carl January, Max Melendrez, Syiad Mohammed, Antoine Murry, Sarah Raidbard, Christian Rocha, Hannah Roszkowski, Anna Lee Sapanski, Alfredo Sandoval Flores, Yer Vang, and Courtney Wynia.