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WKU forensics team champion at largest tourney of fall semester

WKU’s forensics team was crowned team sweepstakes champion at the 66th Annual L.E. Norton Memorial Tournament, the largest of the fall semester.

The event, hosted by Bradley University, is one of the oldest forensics tournaments still in existence and has historically served as a predictor of success at April’s national tournament.

WKU won the sweepstakes championship with double the points of the second-place team. Out of 22 possible individual championships, WKU students won nine and took an additional 10 second-place finishes. Forty-six other schools competed, including Northwestern University, George Mason University, Rice University, Illinois State University, Ohio University and University of Nebraska at Omaha. In total, 21 states were represented in the Nov. 2-3 competition at Peoria, Ill.

WKU Director of Forensics Jace Lux said the team’s success caps off months of preparation. “This tournament is huge, and we prepare for it just like we prepare for the national tournament in April,” he said. “We established winning this tournament as one of our team goals before the semester even started, because it’s a good barometer to gauge our strengths and weaknesses at this point in the season.”

Lux noted that he was proud of the work of WKU students. “These students deserve every bit of success they attain,” he said. “Their work ethic is amazing. I saw some great competition from other teams this weekend, and I was so proud of our students for hanging in there and not being intimidated by anyone.”

The team will return to competition the weekend of Nov. 15, splitting in two directions. One group of students will travel to Carson-Newman College in Tennessee, while another travels to Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.

Results from the 66th Annual L.E. Norton Bradley Invitational are as follows:

  • Carolyn Evans, a freshman from Urbandale, Iowa, tournament champion in novice impromptu speaking, second in novice communication analysis, second in novice extemporaneous speaking and fourth in novice poetry interpretation.
  • Ray Roberts, a junior from Houston, Texas, tournament champion in duo interpretation (with Nick Gilyard) second in poetry interpretation and semifinalist in dramatic interpretation.
  • Janniqua Dawkins, a junior from Hollywood, Fla., tournament champion in informative speaking, third in persuasive speaking and sixth in dramatic interpretation.
  • Lindsey White, a senior from St. Paul, Minn., tournament champion in dramatic interpretation and third in poetry interpretation.
  • Lauren Sledge, a freshman from Bowling Green, tournament champion in novice informative speaking and fourth in novice dramatic interpretation.
  • Brent O’Connor, a freshman from Plantation, Fla., tournament champion in novice poetry interpretation and sixth in duo interpretation (with Jamaque Newberry).
  • Lataya Williams, a sophomore from Falcon Heights, Minn., tournament champion in poetry interpretation.
  • Brittany Broder, a sophomore from St. Charles, Mo., tournament champion in communication analysis and semifinalist in extemporaneous speaking.
  • Nick Gilyard, a senior from Miami Gardens, Fla., tournament champion in duo interpretation (with Ray Roberts).
  • Taylor Holcombe, a freshman from Blue Springs, Mo., tournament champion in novice prose interpretation.
  • Tyler Rife, a senior from Dayton, Ohio, second in duo interpretation (with Elle Pratt), fourth in prose interpretation and sixth in poetry interpretation.
  • Jackson Sanders, a freshman from Cynthiana, second in novice impromptu speaking and second in novice after-dinner speaking.
  • Jamaque Newberry, a junior from Tamarac, Fla., second in programmed oral interpretation and sixth in duo interpretation (with Brent O’Connor).
  • Haddy Badjie, a sophomore from Lewisville, Texas, second in persuasive speaking and semifinalist in informative speaking.
  • Nefertiti Dukes, a junior from Miami Gardens, Fla., second in impromptu speaking and semifinalist in extemporaneous speaking.
  • Elle Pratt, a senior from Fullerton, Calif., second in duo interpretation (with Tyler Rife) and quarterfinalist in prose interpretation.
  • Darius Wilson, a junior from Blue Springs, Mo., second in prose interpretation.
  • Emma Collins, a junior from Chicago, Ill., third in informative speaking and fifth in impromptu speaking.
  • Rebekah Hall, a sophomore from Des Moines, Iowa, third in impromptu speaking.
  • Layton Garlington, a senior from Ruston, La., fourth in poetry interpretation, fifth in programmed oral interpretation and semifinalist in dramatic interpretation.
  • Jeffrey Wren, a freshman from Oklahoma City, Okla., fourth in novice after-dinner speaking and fifth in novice prose interpretation.
  • Sebastian Orozco, a junior from El Paso, Texas, fourth in programmed oral interpretation.
  • Jasmine Jones, a sophomore from Elizabethtown, fifth in informative speaking, semifinalist in communication analysis and semifinalist in poetry interpretation.
  • Paige Settles, a sophomore from Floyds Knobs, Ind., fifth in extemporaneous speaking and semifinalist in impromptu speaking.
  • Austin Groves, a junior from Blue Springs, Mo., fifth in prose interpretation.
  • Ashton Garber, a sophomore from Osprey, Fla., semifinalist in persuasive speaking and semifinalist in dramatic interpretation.
  • Kristina Medero, a junior from Davie, Fla., semifinalist in poetry interpretation and semifinalist in impromptu speaking.
  • Marshall Covert, a senior from St. Paul, Minn., semifinalist in dramatic interpretation and quarterfinalist in prose interpretation.
  • Gabriella Devia-Allen, a senior from Davie, Fla., semifinalist in poetry interpretation and quarterfinalist in impromptu speaking.
  • Spencer Orlowski, a senior from Davie, Fla., semifinalist in informative speaking.
  • Justin Rodriguez, a senior from Coos Bay, Ore., semifinalist in informative speaking.
  • John Reynolds, a junior from Harlingen, Texas, quarterfinalist in prose interpretation.
  • Richard Heyne, a senior from Sunrise, Fla., quarterfinalist in prose interpretation.

More: Check out the WKU Forensics Facebook page.

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

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