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NMSU's Floral Team makes clean sweep at regional competition

New Mexico State University's Floral Team recently swept through a regional floral design competition, bringing home first-place awards in all the major categories.

Group shot
NMSU's Floral Team took first in all the major categories at the recent West Texas New Mexico Florist Association annual convention. Front row (from left), are Mahonri Telles and Dov E. Kupfer. Back row (from left), are Sabine Green, Lindsay Keller, Cheyenne Pena, Micah Ward, Carolyn Lauritzen, Monica David, Rorie Measure and Jessica Hancock. (Photo courtesy of Donna Alexander)
Woman working on flower arrangement
Cheyenne Pena works on a floral arrangement during the West Texas New Mexico Florist Association annual convention. Pena took home first-place prizes for the Dorsey Cup and Silver Cup categories in the competition. (Photo courtesy of Donna Alexander)

The students competed against floral designers in four different categories at the West Texas New Mexico Florist Association annual convention.

"Last year, as we left the regional competition, someone commented, 'Sabine, I predict next year your team will take first place in all the categories. A clean sweep,'" said Sabine Green, coordinator of the Floriculture Program in the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences. "I thought to myself it was a lofty but worthy goal, so we (the floral team) set out to accomplish just that. And, I am very proud that they did it! Competition was stiff this year, so I am doubly proud of my team!"

Florists competed in two timed competitions, the Dorsey Cup and Silver Cup.

Cheyenne Pena placed first in both categories, receiving a $150 scholarship for her winning bridal bouquet in the Dorsey Cup competition, and a $500 cash prize and the $500 Cliff Hickman scholarship for the Silver Cup. In that competition, florists were required to create a recognition piece and a matching arrangement for a donor to the local arts.

Other winners in the Dorsey Cup competition were: Micah Ward, second place; Mahonri Telles, fifth place; Jessica Hancock, eighth place; Monica David, 10th place; Carolyn Lauritzen, 11th place; and Lindsey Keller, 12th place.

In the Silver Cup competition, Lauritzen received a $250 cash prize for her second-place win. Other winners of the Silver Cup competition were: David, fourth place; Telles, fifth place; Rorie Measure, seventh place; Keller, eighth place; and Ward, 10th place.

Competitors also participated in "fun contests" to test their creativity. One fun contest challenged the florists to create a Brazilian carnival mask. Green won first place and a $75 cash prize for her design. Telles received $50 for his second-place winning design, and Measure received $25 for her third-place win.

At the convention, Green was voted as director for the New Mexico District to the West Texas New Mexico Florist Association board. She was also appointed co-chair for the 2013 WTNM annual convention and competition in August 2013 in Ruidoso, N.M. The theme for the 2013 convention is Green Magick.

"We want to give a special thank you to Hi Hopes Garden Club, Dr. and Mrs. Fran Cotter, Dr. Emroy Shannon, Dr. Geno Picchioni, Dov E. Kupfer with the American Institute of Floral Designers, and the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences for their sponsorship to facilitate our trip," said Green. "The NMSU Floral team appreciates the support."