TCC Northwest horticulture students shine in national competition

Three TCC Northwest horticulture students placed in the top 30 out of more than 500 entrants March 16-19 in the annual National Collegiate Landscape competition at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

Paul Preston was 14th overall, finishing 9th in Irrigation Troubleshooting (with teammate Daniel Clarke), 2nd in the Small Engine Repair Event, 10th in Landscape Plant Installation (With Josh Dooley and Katherine Pierce) and 20th in Irrigation Assembly (with Madison Grider).

Dooley was 25th, placing 7th in Robotics and Technology in Landscaping (with Mariah Dooley); and 13th in Mini Track Loader Operation to go along with his 10th place in Landscape Plant Installation.

Katherine Pierce, in addition to her 10th place in Landscape Plant Installation, was 17th in Plant Problem Diagnosis (with Maranda Jaegerman). She placed 27th overall.

Other top-10 finishes in individual events were by Clarke, 4th in Landscaping Design and 8th in Irrigation Design and Elizabeth Chi, 8th in Irrigation Design and 10th in Flower and Foliage Identification.

According to Instructor David Bulpitt, the TCC team finished 17th out of 43 colleges and universities, highly respectable considering the caliber of the competition, among which were university programs from North Carolina State, Mississippi State, Penn State, Kansas State and Colorado State.

The overall standing, Bulpitt added, was even more impressive considering TCC’s team had far fewer members (11) than many of those schools ranked higher. The overall team score was a total of points earned by the institution’s team. When the average number of points per student is the yardstick, TCC finished 6th.

“I really appreciated the dedication and hard work demonstrated by our TCC Horticulture students,” Bulpitt said. “They were all willing to give up most of their spring break vacation to prepare and attend, realizing the potential benefits from this experience and for their future work careers.”