Math Professor Wins National Canoe Competition
Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 [2:47 PM]
Associate Professor of Mathematics Scott Dillery,
right, and teammate Zaak Havens
head into the stretch of the men's 18-39 OC-2 F16 class of the 2012
White Water Open
Canoe Downriver Nationals.
COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Scott Dillery's interest in
white-water canoeing recently led to a national
Dillery -- a Campbellsville, Ky., resident who
is a Lindsey Wilson College associate professor of mathematics --
won a national championship at the White Water Open Canoe Downriver Nationals,
held in June on the Nantahala River in near Wesser,
Dillery and and his partner, Zaak Havens of Michigan,
completed an eight-mile course on the Nantahala River in just under
56 minutes to become national champions in the men's 18-39 OC-2 F16
class. Although Dillery is 51 years old, the duo competed in the
18-39 age group because Havens is 24.
Havens and Dillery also competed in the sprint course,
covering it 7:30.9 for the silver, 6.9 seconds behind the
first-place team; and Dillery competed individually at the event,
earning a fifth-place finish in the sprint and a fourth-place
finish in the long course.
It was the fifth time Dillery has competed in the national
event, and this year was his best showing.
"It's just a lot of fun," Dillery said. "I like the people
involved with the event. They are really fun people to be
When Dillery first competed in the national event in the
late-1990s, "I didn't do very well, but I had a really good
Dillery said that one of the appeals of competing in a canoe
race on a white-water river is the thrill the sport gives
"It's one of those things that, while you are doing it, it
gets your adrenalin going because of the excitement," he said. "But
at the same time, you know that if you follow all of the safety
rules, it's a pretty safe sport."
Dillery equates riding a river's white-water rapids to "like
getting on a roller coaster."
"You know you're going to be OK, but the whole time you're
heading down that first hill it does feel a little risky," he