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WKU forensics team wins 24th consecutive state championship

The WKU forensics team won the 2014 Kentucky Forensic Association state tournament on Saturday (Feb. 22), keeping alive a 24-year streak that began in 1991.

WKU was triple-crowned the team individual events sweepstakes state champion, the team debate sweepstakes state champion and the overall team sweepstakes state champion. This year’s tournament, hosted at Gateway Community and Technical College in Florence, featured teams from all across the Commonwealth participating in speech and debate events.

The team also collected 13 individual state championships, including sophomore Hadie Badjie’s state championship in quadrathon, a measure of personal success across at least four events.

Several members of the WKU forensics team also traveled to Peoria and Normal, Ill., to compete in the Bradley University/Mid-American Forensic League Swing tournaments the weekend of Feb. 22-23. WKU was crowned team sweepstakes champion at the Bradley tournament, ahead of 12 other schools including Northwestern University, Bradley University, Illinois State University, Miami University and University of Northern Iowa.

WKU Director of Forensics Jace Lux was pleased with the team’s results. “More than anything, I’m just proud that we were able to bring the state championship back to The Hill for another year,” he said. “To be able to be a part of a tradition of winning spanning nearly a quarter of a century is truly an honor. One of my top goals for the students at the beginning of the season was to win the state title, and it’s a great feeling to have accomplished that.”

Lux said that the students have worked all season to prepare for the state tournament. “These students and coaches have worked harder than I could ever have imagined. They have a lot of pride in WKU and its forensics history, and they wanted to make sure we remained state champs against the best of the best in Kentucky.”

Despite the state title, the season is far from over. “We now turn our attention to the world championship tournament in Paris in a couple of weeks, then to the two collegiate national championship tournaments beginning in April,” Lux said.

WKU also was chosen as the host site for the 2016 KFA state tournament. Lux was named Vice President of the Kentucky Forensic Association, while junior Nefertiti Dukes was elected student secretary.

Next weekend, the team will travel to Illinois State University in Normal to compete in two tournaments.

Individual results for KFA State are as follows:

  • Jamaque Newberry, a junior from Tamarac, Fla., state champion in poetry interpretation, state champion in programmed oral interpretation and state champion in duo interpretation (with Brent O’Connor).
  • Tiffany Lewis, a senior from Dubach, La., state champion in extemporaneous speaking, state champion in Parliamentary debate (with Mark Allseits), fourth in impromptu speaking and ninth debate speaker.
  • Spencer Orlowski, a senior from Davie, Fla., state champion in after-dinner speaking, second debate speaker, second in informative speaking and quarterfinalist in Parliamentary debate (with John Corum).
  • Brent O’Connor, a freshman from Plantation, Fla., state champion in duo interpretation (with Jamaque Newberry), second in prose interpretation and third in after-dinner speaking.
  • Haddy Badjie, a sophomore from Lewisville, Texas, state champion in quadrathon, second in communication analysis, second in dramatic interpretation, third in poetry interpretation, quarterfinalist in Parliamentary debate (with Nefertiti Dukes) and sixth in extemporaneous speaking.
  • Jackson Sanders, a freshman from Cynthiana, state champion in communication analysis, second in after-dinner speaking and fourth in dramatic interpretation.
  • Lataya Williams, a sophomore from Falcon Heights, Minn., state champion in prose interpretation, second in persuasive speaking and fourth in programmed oral interpretation.
  • Nefertiti Dukes, a junior from Miami Gardens, Fla., state champion in informative speaking, second in impromptu speaking and quarterfinalist in Parliamentary debate (with Haddy Badjie).
  • John Corum, a junior from Auburn, state champion in impromptu speaking, second in extemporaneous speaking and quarterfinalist in Parliamentary debate (with Spencer Orlowski).
  • Emma Collins, a junior from Chicago, Ill., state champion in editorial impromptu, fourth in after-dinner speaking, quarterfinalist in Parliamentary debate (with Carolyn Evans) and seventh debate speaker.
  • Mark Allseits, a freshman from Englewood, Fla., state champion in Parliamentary debate (with Tiffany Lewis), fourth debate speaker and fifth in extemporaneous speaking.
  • Austin Groves, a junior from Blue Springs, Mo., state champion in dramatic interpretation and fourth in poetry interpretation.
  • Lauren Sledge, a freshman from Bowling Green, state champion in persuasive speaking and fifth in dramatic interpretation.
  • Paige Settles, a sophomore from Floyds Knobs, Ind., second in editorial impromptu, fifth in persuasive speaking and sixth in informative speaking.
  • Jasmine Jones, a sophomore from Elizabethtown, second in poetry interpretation and fifth in prose interpretation.
  • Brittany Broder, a sophomore from St. Charles, Mo., third in editorial impromptu, third in impromptu speaking, and fourth in prose interpretation.
  • Tyler Prochazka, a junior from Newton, Kan., third in informative speaking and semifinalist in Parliamentary debate (with Rebekah Hall).
  • Ellis Fraser, a junior from Hodgenville, third in prose interpretation.
  • Rebekah Hall, a sophomore from Des Moines, Iowa, fourth in communication analysis, fourth in persuasive speaking and semifinalist in Parliamentary debate (with Tyler Prochazka).
  • Carolyn Evans, a freshman from Urbandale, Iowa, quarterfinalist in Parliamentary debate (with Emma Collins), fourth in extemporaneous speaking and fifth debate speaker.

Results from the Bradley University/Mid-American Forensic League Swing tournaments are as follows:

  • Elle Pratt, a senior from Fullerton, Calif., tournament champion in poetry interpretation, tournament champion in prose interpretation and second in dramatic interpretation at the Bradley tournament; fifth in poetry interpretation at the MAFL tournament.
  • Kristina Medero, a junior from Davie, Fla., tournament champion in impromptu speaking, tournament champion in duo interpretation (with Gabriella Devia-Allen) and fourth in poetry interpretation at the Bradley tournament; third in poetry interpretation at the MAFL tournament.
  • Lindsey White, a senior from St. Paul, Minn., tournament champion in programmed oral interpretation, second in prose interpretation and third in after-dinner speaking at the Bradley tournament.
  • Taylor Holcombe, a freshman from Blue Springs, Mo., tournament champion in programmed oral interpretation at the MAFL tournament; third in programmed oral interpretation and fourth in dramatic interpretation at the Bradley tournament.
  • Janniqua Dawkins, a junior from Hollywood, Fla., tournament champion in persuasive speaking at the Bradley tournament.
  • Nick Gilyard, a senior from Miami Gardens, Fla., tournament champion in persuasive speaking at the MAFL tournament.
  • Gabriella Devia-Allen, a senior from Davie, Fla., tournament champion in duo interpretation (with Kristina Medero) at the Bradley tournament.
  • Meg Cox, a sophomore from The Woodlands, Texas, second in communication analysis and third in informative speaking at the Bradley tournament; second in communication analysis at the MAFL tournament.
  • Ian Dowty, a junior from Valley Center, Kan., second in duo interpretation (with Marshall Covert) and third in communication analysis at the Bradley tournament; third in after-dinner speaking, fifth in communication analysis and sixth in duo interpretation (with Marshall Covert) at the MAFL tournament.
  • Marshall Covert, a senior from St. Paul, Minn., second in duo interpretation (with Ian Dowty) and sixth in after-dinner speaking at the Bradley tournament; sixth in duo interpretation (with Ian Dowty) at the MAFL tournament.
  • Sebastian Orozco, a junior from El Paso, Texas, second in duo interpretation (with Justin Rodriguez) at the MAFL tournament; fourth in duo interpretation (with Justin Rodriguez) and sixth in poetry interpretation at the Bradley tournament.
  • Justin Rodriguez, a senior from Coos Bay, Ore., second in duo interpretation (with Sebastian Orozco) at the MAFL tournament; fourth in duo interpretation (with Sebastian Orozco) at the Bradley tournament.
  • Ashton Garber, a sophomore from Osprey, Fla., third in poetry interpretation, fifth in prose interpretation and fifth in duo interpretation (with Richard Heyne) at the Bradley tournament; fifth in duo interpretation (with Richard Heyne) at the MAFL tournament.
  • Tyler Rife, a senior from Dayton, Ohio, third in dramatic interpretation at the MAFL tournament; fifth in dramatic interpretation at the Bradley tournament.
  • Richard Heyne, a senior from Sunrise, Fla., fifth in poetry interpretation and fifth in duo interpretation (with Ashton Garber) at the Bradley tournament; fifth in duo interpretation (with Ashton Garber) and sixth in after-dinner speaking at the MAFL tournament.

More: Check out the WKU Forensics Facebook page.

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

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