NEWBERRY, SC -   Tri-County Technical College placed second overall as a college and all five team members placed in at least one event in the 2015 South Carolina Speech and Theater Association's College Festival.  Tri-County's team finished just two points behind Limestone College in this year's competition held at Newberry College.

Eight two- and four-year colleges from across the state competed January 31.

Anna Fisher, an associate in arts major from Clemson, placed first in both Persuasive and Informative Speaking.

Samantha Crowl, a Criminal Justice major from Central, and the team's only returnee from last year's team, placed second in Storytelling and third in Persuasive Speaking.

Tara Lenertz, an associate in arts major from Fargo, North Dakota, but now calls Clemson home, took first place in the Storytelling category.

Chelsea Adams, an associate in science major from Westminster, placed first in the Audition Monologues category.

Jarred Major, an associate in science major from Anderson, brought home second place in the Informative Speaking category with his speech about the American Flag.

 "We have been taking teams to this competition for seventeen years. This is a great opportunity for students to develop important communications skills and do it in a competitive environment," said Tri-County Speech Instructor/Coach Greg Toney. "Everyone worked hard and was deserving of his/her success."

          "My goal is to go to these competitions and be competitive," said Toney. "It's a challenge to compete every year against schools such as Newberry, Limestone and USC Upstate that actually have four-year programs in Drama and Speech. However, we always have success and this year it was no different as we dominated the categories that we participated in."

Limestone College took first place overall honors as this year's Sweepstakes Winner for the third year in a row. Colleges participating in this year's event included Tri-County, Newberry College, Lander University, Claflin University, Erskine College, Limestone College, Midlands Technical College and Furman University.

"Communication skills are one of the most important skills someone can take into the workplace today," said Toney. "Competing in this annual speech and drama festival allows students to sharpen those skills, as well represent their school while competing against other colleges from around the state."

The Tri-County Technical College Speech and Drama Team is coached by Toney and fellow instructors Lane Hudson, Kim Harp and Dana Griffith.

The 2016 SCSTA College Festival Competition will be held Saturday, February 27, 2016, at Claflin University in Orangeburg.

The South Carolina Speech and Theatre Association is a professional organization that promotes the study of all areas of performance and oral communication: acting, oral interpretation/performance studies, theatre, broadcasting, public speaking, discussion and debate, and speech education. Its main purpose is the advancement of the total speech and theatre effort in the educational system of the state of South Carolina. SCSTA serves both the public and private schools and the colleges and universities in South Carolina through an annual Conference and spring festival competitions in the Communication Arts, and through recognition of outstanding contributors to our efforts. Membership is open to all persons interested in performance and other areas of oral communication and should be of special interest to persons teaching speech and drama courses at all levels.