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WKU Forensics Team wins 23rd straight state championship

The WKU Forensics Team won the 2015 Kentucky state forensics tournament on Saturday, keeping alive a streak that began in 1993.

This year’s tournament, hosted by the University of Kentucky on the campus of nearby Transylvania University, featured teams from all across the Commonwealth participating in speech and debate events.

WKU was triple-crowned the team individual events sweepstakes state champion, the team parliamentary debate sweepstakes state champion, and the overall team sweepstakes state champion. The team also collected 11 individual state championships, including senior Darius Wilson’s state championship in quadrathon, a measure of personal success across at least four events.

WKU Director of Forensics Ganer Newman was pleased with the team’s results. “I am incredibly proud of our students’ resolve to bring back the state championship to The Hill,” he said. “This victory reinforces the enduring strength of our program and our university.”

Newman said the students have worked hard all season long to prepare to compete against the best of the best in the state. “The students and coaches recognized the importance of this opportunity,” he said. “We cannot thank our campus community enough for their support. Our students were emboldened by the positive feedback they received after our public showcase last week.”

WKU will host the 2016 state tournament, and Newman will stand as President of the Kentucky Forensic Association for the year, while sophomore Mark Allseits was elected student vice president and freshman Bailey Rung was elected student sentinel.

Despite the state title, the season is far from over. “Galvanized by this win, the team is eager to compete at the two collegiate national tournaments beginning this week,” Newman said.

Next weekend, the team will travel to the first of two national tournaments, the American Forensic Association National Individual Events tournament in Portland, Oregon.

Individual results for KFA State are as follows:

  • Darius Wilson, a senior from Blue Springs, Missouri, state champion in dramatic interpretation, state champion in duo interpretation (with Austin Groves), state champion in quadrathon, second in poetry interpretation and fourth in after-dinner speaking.
  • Austin Groves, a senior from Blue Springs, Missouri, state champion in prose interpretation, state champion in duo interpretation (with Darius Wilson), third in quadrathon, fourth in informative speaking and fifth in after-dinner speaking.
  • Sebastian Orozco, a senior from El Paso, Texas, state champion in persuasive speaking, state champion in poetry interpretation, fourth in programmed oral interpretation, fourth in quadrathon and fifth in dramatic interpretation.
  • Lauren Sledge, a sophomore from Bowling Green, state champion in informative speaking, second in persuasive speaking and fourth in poetry interpretation.
  • Tyler Prochazka, a senior from Newton, Kansas, state champion in impromptu speaking, second in parliamentary debate (with Paige Settles) and seventh debate speaker.
  • Mackenzie Birkey, a freshman from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, state champion in after-dinner speaking, third in prose interpretation, fourth in dramatic interpretation, fifth in quadrathon and fifth in communication analysis.
  • Lily Nellans, a freshman from Des Moines, Iowa, state champion in editorial impromptu, fourth in impromptu speaking, quarterfinalist in parliamentary debate (with Nefertiti Dukes) and 10th debate speaker.
  • Mark Allseits, a sophomore from Englewood, Florida, state champion debate speaker and semifinalist in parliamentary debate (with Emma Collins).
  • Paige Settles, a junior from Floyds Knobs, Indiana, second in after-dinner speaking, second in parliamentary debate (with Tyler Prochazka), third in editorial impromptu, third debate speaker and fourth in extemporaneous speaking.
  • Jasmine Jones, a junior from Elizabethtown, second in communication analysis, second in programmed oral interpretation and fifth in poetry interpretation.
  • Nefertiti Dukes, a senior from Miami Gardens, Florida, second in extemporaneous speaking, second debate speaker and quarterfinalist in parliamentary debate (with Lily Nellans).
  • Brent O’Connor, a sophomore from Plantation, Florida, second in dramatic interpretation and second in informative speaking.
  • Meg Cox, a junior from The Woodlands, Texas, third in after-dinner speaking, fourth in persuasive speaking, fourth in communication analysis and sixth in prose interpretation.
  • Emma Collins, a senior from Chicago, Illinois, second in editorial impromptu, third in impromptu speaking, semifinalist in parliamentary debate (with Mark Allseits) and sixth debate speaker.
  • Ashton Garber, a junior from Osprey, Florida, third in dramatic interpretation, third in programmed oral interpretation and sixth in informative speaking.
  • Brittany Broder, a junior from St. Charles, Missouri, third in communication analysis and fifth in informative speaking.
  • Damon Brown, a junior from Kansas City, Missouri, third in extemporaneous speaking, quarterfinalist in parliamentary debate (with Bailey Rung) and eighth debate speaker.
  • Janniqua Dawkins, a senior from Hollywood, Florida, fifth in prose interpretation.
  • Dalton Puckett, a freshman from Buffalo, sixth in persuasive speaking.
  • Bailey Rung, a freshman from Blaine, Minnesota, quarterfinalist in parliamentary debate (with Damon Brown).

More: Check out the WKU Forensics Facebook page.

Contact: Ganer Newman, (270) 745-6340

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