Campus: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo -- May 16, 2000

Cal Poly Agriculture Students Win National Flower Judging Contest

Floriculture's version of the "Final Four" occurred in April, and Cal Poly returned to San Luis Obispo as national judging champions.

The 59th National Intercollegiate Floral Crop Quality Evaluation Contest, held at Texas A&M University, included teams from universities across the nation, and Cal Poly, the defending champions, repeated, with Kansas State University second and Penn State University third.

Cal Poly team members, all environmental horticultural science seniors, are Alex Van Wingerden of Carpenteria who was named third-best judge in the country with a 90.87 percent average; Steven Baldonado, Redlands, fourth best with a 90.4 percentage average; and Sue Hofer, Watsonville.

The alternate judge was Kate Flores of Arroyo Grande, and the student coach was Laurie Bills of Escondido.

Envirormental Horticultural Science Department Head Virginia Walter coached the team.

The competition consisted of 30 different classes of floral products, fresh flowers, flowering plants and foliage plants. Cal Poly's team scored 8,109 points out of a possible 9,000.

Students also competed in an optional floral design contest in which Flores placed second with an asymmetrical triangle design. Van Wingerden placed third with a centerpiece arrangement.

The American Floral Endowment and National Pi Alpha Xi, the horticulture scholastic honorary society, sponsor the contest.

Cal Poly will host the 60th intercollegiate competition in April 2001.

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