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This content was published: October 27, 2011. Phone numbers, email addresses, and other information may have changed.

PCC’s award-winning dragon boat team celebrates win

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Members of Portland Community College’s dragon boat team shared their most recent win with Preston Pulliams, the college’s district president, at a casual mixer during the fall term. The team placed fourth in this year’s Portland Rose Festival’s “Mixed Division C” group for dragon boating, competing against nearly 100 other teams in the category.

“It’s incredible being a part of this team – and given the competition, this was an incredible win for us,” said Julie Amicci-Green, a Sylvania student who joined PCC’s dragon boat team last spring.

Preston Pulliams, PCC's district president, holds the latest trophy won by the college's dragon boat team, which includes (from left to right) Lennie Kesterson, Fran Palk and Julie Amicci-Green.

The team was founded 23 years ago by Fran Palk, now retired from PCC but still active as the team’s coach. The team is unique compared to others at the college because it receives district support: It’s not a campus-specific team or club and instead attracts students from all campuses, at all levels.

“We’re an entry-level team – no experience is required,” said Stephen Arthur, Sylvania’s temporary Student Leadership Coordinator. “As long as members consistently make practice, all are welcome.”

The dragon boat team practices three times each week beginning in March or April in preparation for its two annual spring competitions – at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, Wash., and in Portland at the Rose Festival. The team can consist of as many as 20 participants, or as few as eight, on the boat.

“Given all the trophies and medals this team has won over the years, I think we’ll need to find a display case for them soon,” said Pulliams, as he admired the group’s many awards.

For more information about PCC’s dragon boat team, contact either team advisor Lennie Kesterson at lkesters@pcc.edu, or Palk at franpalk@msn.com.