The University of North Georgia (UNG) won both first and second place in the collegiate division of the 21st annual Atlanta-Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival on Sept. 10 at Lake Lanier.
The UNG team, made up of students, staff and faculty members, was captained by Christopher Jespersen, dean of the College of Arts & Letters. The team made the top 12 out of more than 60 teams competing across multiple divisions.
"We had great balance on the team between veterans and new recruits who brought back our second gold in three years," Jespersen said.
The race marked the fourth consecutive win for the UNG team, which has won gold or silver medals each year.
Johnny Kahn, associate director of academic advising named, Anastasia Haack as the secret weapon to the dragon boat team's success.
"She brings a fierce competitor's spirit and her very own carbon paddle. How could we lose," he said.
Haack, a junior majoring in international affairs, competed for the U.S. team at the IFC Dragon Boat World Championships in Poland in 2014.
Members of the 2016 UNG Dragon Boat Team included: Jespersen, Haack, Steve Lloyd, Richard Byers, Gene Van Sickle, J.J. Liew, Mary Newburn, Mike Proulx, Julie Higbee, Gabe Fankhauser, Sean Mullins, Johnny Kahn, John Beall, Steve Smith, DeEnna Walters, David Marling, Michael Rifenburg, Katie Beccue, Emily Van Sickle, Derek Bowen, and Sophie Mullins.