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WKU forensics team begins season with tournament on campus

The WKU forensics team kicked off its competitive season by co-hosting the Forensics Fiesta with Miami University on WKU’s campus the weekend of Sept. 20-22.

The event offered competition in debate and individual events over three days, and hosted 17 schools, including the University of Alabama, the University of Kentucky, the University of Mississippi and Illinois State University. WKU students competed in the tournament, but as co-host the team was not eligible for overall team sweepstakes awards.

WKU team members received nine tournament championships, as well as some individual sweepstakes awards, which measure individual success across the tournament. Sophomore Paige Settles of Floyds Knobs, Ind., placed second in individual sweepstakes at the WKU half of the tournament, and sophomore Brittany Broder of St. Charles, Mo., was second at the Miami half.

WKU Director of Forensics Jace Lux said that the tournament was a success. “This year’s tournament was substantially larger than it has been for many years, which made hosting it a challenge,” he said. “In one weekend, we hosted a parliamentary debate tournament, two Lincoln-Douglas debate tournaments, and two individual events tournaments. This tournament’s smooth operation is a testament to the hard work of our coaching staff and students, as well as the staff and students at Miami University. Not only were the students helping to host a tournament, they were also competing. I’m extremely proud of all of them.”

Next weekend, the Hilltoppers will split into two groups to compete in tournaments at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Results from the WKU Forensics Fiesta are as follows:

  • Emma Collins, a junior from Chicago, Ill., tournament champion in impromptu speaking, tournament champion in informative speaking, second in Lincoln-Douglas debate and second debate speaker at the Miami tournament.
  • Ray Roberts, a junior from Houston, Texas, tournament champion in duo interpretation (with Nick Gilyard) and third in poetry interpretation at the WKU tournament.
  • Lataya Williams, a sophomore from Falcon Heights, Minn., tournament champion in programmed oral interpretation at the Miami tournament.
  • Darius Wilson, a junior from Blue Springs, Mo., tournament champion in prose interpretation at the Miami tournament.
  • Alexis Elliott, a senior from Kansas City, Mo., tournament champion in extemporaneous speaking at the Miami tournament.
  • Taylor Holcombe, a freshman from Blue Springs, Mo., tournament champion in duo interpretation (with Austin Groves) at the Miami tournament.
  • Tyler Prochazka, a junior from Newton, Kan., top debate speaker.
  • Haddy Badjie, a sophomore from Lewisville, Texas, tournament champion in informative speaking at the WKU tournament.
  • Austin Groves, a junior from Blue Springs, Mo., tournament champion in duo interpretation (with Taylor Holcombe) at the Miami tournament.
  • Nick Gilyard, a senior from Miami Gardens, Fla., tournament champion in duo interpretation (with Ray Roberts) at the WKU tournament.
  • Paige Settles, a sophomore from Floyds Knobs, Ind., second in communication analysis, third in extemporaneous speaking, fourth in impromptu speaking and fifth in informative speaking at the WKU tournament.
  • Brittany Broder, a sophomore from St. Charles, Mo., second in communication analysis, fourth in impromptu speaking and fourth in persuasive speaking at the Miami tournament.
  • Kristina Medero, a junior from Davie, Fla., second in persuasive speaking and sixth in poetry interpretation at the WKU tournament.
  • Tyler Rife, a senior from Dayton, Ohio, second in prose interpretation at the Miami tournament.
  • Jamaque Newberry, a junior from Tamarac, Fla., third in prose interpretation, fifth in duo interpretation (with Brent O’Connor) and fifth in programmed oral interpretation at the WKU tournament.
  • Nefertiti Dukes, a junior from Miami Gardens, Fla., third debate speaker and quarterfinalist in Lincoln-Douglas debate.
  • Ellis Fraser, a junior from Hodgenville, third in impromptu speaking and sixth in informative speaking at the WKU tournament.
  • Lauren Sledge, a freshman from Bowling Green, third in informative speaking at the Miami tournament.
  • John Reynolds, a junior from Harlingen, Texas, third in duo interpretation (with Elle Pratt) at the Miami tournament.
  • Elle Pratt, a senior from Fullerton, Calif., third in duo interpretation (with John Reynolds) at the Miami tournament.
  • Jeffrey Wren, a freshman from Oklahoma City, Okla., fourth in after-dinner speaking at the Miami tournament.
  • Justin Rodriguez, a senior from Coos Bay, Ore., fourth in prose interpretation at the Miami tournament.
  • Spencer Orlowski, a senior from Davie, Fla., quarterfinalist in Lincoln-Douglas debate.
  • Marshall Covert, a senior from St. Paul, Minn., fifth in prose interpretation, fifth in impromptu speaking and fifth in duo interpretation (with Emma Wilczynski) at the Miami tournament.
  • Jackson Sanders, a freshman from Cynthiana, fifth in dramatic interpretation and sixth in after-dinner speaking at the WKU tournament.
  • Brent O’Connor, a freshman from Plantation, Fla., fifth in duo interpretation (with Jamaque Newberry) at the WKU tournament.
  • Emma Wilczynski, a senior from Florence, fifth in duo interpretation (with Marshall Covert) at the Miami tournament.
  • Carolyn Evans, a freshman from Urbandale, Iowa, sixth in impromptu speaking at the Miami tournament.

More: Check out the WKU Forensics Facebook page.

Contact: Jace Lux, (270) 745-6340.

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