Ryan Chartrand

The Cal Poly Floral Design Team missed first place at the National Floral Design Competition in Washington, D.C. by only two points. The team beat out 11 other campuses for the second place honor.

“(The judges) picked the team with the highest average, and Mississippi was only two points above us,” Lynch said. “But we did very well, considering they only had two people and we had a full team of six.”

Each team member could choose to compete in a total of five categories, including: Flowers to Wear, Bouquet, Sympathy, Hospital Design and Dry Arrangement. Four of the six team members placed in the top ten for best overall score.

“The students didn’t get to see any of the fresh products before they entered the room, which is pretty stressful because… it’s like you’re getting a whole bucket of surprises,” Lynch said.

The team prepares for the competition by meeting with Lynch the night before the event to go over designs. She has each student sketch out what they’re planning to make for each category and then she discusses the possible products used for the designs, Lynch said.

“Over the years, I’ve found that the students have to design what makes them happy,” Lynch said. “Their heart really has to be in it or else they shouldn’t be in the competition at all.”

Team members Sonny Pulido, Audrey Chaney, Anna Villalobos and Hilary Hirzel placed third, fifth, eighth and tenth in the overall competition. The placements of more than 50 students were tallied up and averaged to select the winner.

The entire team also had the opportunity to assist professional designer Mark Erickson with his show at the AIFD Symposium, which gives students ample design experience and allows them to work as a team, Lynch said.

According to the Cal Poly Web site, www.calpoly.edu, “(The) club sends students to help florists throughout the year…attends design shows, assists designers and helps with major floral events.”

The club also sells floral arrangements at the “Friday Flowers” booth in the UU, which helps fund the yearly trip to the national competition.

Competing Floral Design Team members included Pulido, Chaney, Villalobos, Hirzel, Heather Ephraim and Cara Guernsey.

The Floral Design Team is an ASI club and is open to all majors at Cal Poly. For more information about the team, call 756-7504 or visit the AIFD Web site at www.afid.org.

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