Cal Poly 300Cal Poly’s national floral design team placed fourth at the American Institute of Floral Designers’ 2014 National Student Floral Design Competition held last month in Chicago.

Emily Gaul, a recreation, parks and tourism administration senior, and Rachel Maiorino and Anna Thenguall, horticulture and crop science sophomores, competed in the arrangement, body flowers, sympathy and weddings categories.

In the body flowers category, the Cal Poly team was seventh, and Maiorino placed sixth individually. In the sympathy category, Cal Poly placed first overall, Thenguall was sixth, Maiorino earned ninth, and Gaul placed 10th.

In the wedding category, Cal Poly was fourth overall, and Maiorino placed ninth. In overall scoring, Cal Poly placed fourth out of the 13 schools competing, and Maiorino was ninth.

“This was the first national competition for all three students, and I am extremely proud of their accomplishments,” said Melinda Lynch, horticulture and crop science lecturer and the team’s advisor. “To be in a national competition and place in the top five is extremely honorable. This is a highly competitive design contest with many students from all over the nation.”

AIFD’s National Student Floral Design Competition provides students the opportunity to apply the floral design skills they learn in class to a real-world application.