ORANGEBURG - Tri-County Technical College students swept the top prizes at the 2016 South Carolina Speech and Theater Association's Annual College Festival Competition, taking home the overall college championship, the overall individual student award and placing in seven different events.

Colleges and universities from around the state competed at Claflin University Saturday, February 28.

Chelsea Adams, an Associate of Science major from Westminster, took the event's highest individual award.  She won the Triathlon Award for best overall performance by an individual.  Adams placed first in Prose Interpretation, first in Audition Monologues and second in Persuasive Speaking.  To qualify for the Triathlon Award, an individual must compete in one event in each of these three categories:  drama, public speaking and interpretation. 

            Jordan Cook, an Associate of Science major from Columbia, placed first in Persuasive and Informative Speaking.

Emily Wyndham, an Associate of Arts major from Fort Mill, place third in Persuasive Speaking.

            Dillon Sierra, an Associate of Arts major from Clemson, placed first in Impromptu Speaking.

            Endia Jones, a Media Arts Production major from Anderson, placed second in Poetry Interpretation and third in Storytelling.

"We are so proud of our students' success at this year's festival.  You never know who your competition will be at this event," said Greg Toney, coach and public speaking instructor at the College. "We went in confident because our students were prepared and delivered good pieces.  Two of our students were returnees, who won first-place awards in the Storytelling and Audition Monologues categories last year. We had four who were new to the team. Everyone was willing to work hard through the fall and spring to prepare and it paid off." 

"Our students showcased a wide range of talent because there are different skills for each category.  We are so proud of all of them," he added. 

            "We have been taking teams to this competition for nineteen years. This is a great opportunity for students to develop important communications skills and do it in a competitive environment," said Toney. "Everyone worked hard and was deserving of their success."

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

The 2017 SCSTA College Festival Competition will be held Saturday, February 11, 2017, 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.