West Virginia University’s Soils Team recently placed first in the Southeast Regional Collegiate Soils Contest, hosted by the University of Tennessee–Knoxville in Crossville, Tenn.

Four WVU students placed in the top ten, Josh Hall, an agronomy major from Charleston, finishing second, Chris Orndorff, an agronomy major from Charmco, finishing third, Sarah Taylor, an environmental protection major from Petersburg, finishing fourth and Katey Buckland, an environmental protection major from St. Albans, finishing seventh.

Eight students traveled with the team to Crossville, including Ben Bennett, an animal and nutritional sciences major from Lookout, T.J. Montgomery, an environmental protection major from Salem, Katie Payne, a soil science major from Century and Samantha Spencer, an agroecology major from Sharpsburg, Md.

“I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of all of these students,” said Jim Thompson, associate professor of soils and land use in the Division of Plant and Soil Sciences in WVU’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design. “These students continue to build upon the past success of the WVU Soils Team, and students and faculty from other schools are noticing our students’ achievements.”

Other schools that participated in the regional meet were Auburn University, Clemson University, the University of Florida, the University of Georgia, the University of Kentucky, North Carolina State University, the University of Tennessee – Martin, Tennessee Tech, Virginia Tech and Western Kentucky University.

The team will now begin to prepare for the National Collegiate Soils Contest, which will be held March 21-26, 2010, in Lubbock, Texas. The WVU Soils Team has gone to the National Collegiate Soils Contest each of the last four years, finishing in the top five each year, including a national championship in 2006.



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CONTACT: David Welsh