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WKU forensics team hosts 23 schools in season opener

The WKU forensics team kicked off its competitive season by hosting the Fall Forensic Tournament on WKU’s campus the weekend of Sept. 18-20.

With five tournaments in one weekend, the event offered competition in debate and individual events over three days, hosting 23 schools from California to Pennsylvania, including the University of Alabama, University of Kentucky, Illinois State University and Truman State University. WKU students competed in the tournament, but as host the team was not eligible for team sweepstakes awards.

WKU Director of Forensics Ganer Newman said the tournament has been growing in recent years.

“This is the second year of growth for this tournament, making it a particular challenge to host,” he said. “In one weekend, we hosted a parliamentary debate tournament, two Lincoln-Douglas debate tournaments and two individual events tournaments. Unlike many teams, WKU is equally dedicated to both debate and public speaking. I am extremely proud of all of the work our students and staff put into making our season opener a huge success. We especially want to thank all of the university’s professors and graduate students who joined us as judges. This tournament was truly a community effort.”

While hosting, WKU team members also competed. “Our students won 12 individual event championships and won the round-robin Lincoln-Douglas Debate,” Newman said. “I’m extremely proud of all of them.”

Many of the finalists in the WKU tournament each year become national finalists by the end of the year. Newman described the competition that WKU was able to attract “phenomenal.”

Next weekend, the Hilltoppers will travel to Muncie, Indiana, to compete at Ball State University.

Results from the WKU Fall Forensic Tournament are as follows:

  • Bailey Rung, a sophomore from Blaine, Minnesota, tournament champion in impromptu speaking, tournament champion in quadrathon, second in extemporaneous speaking and second in Lincoln-Douglas debate at the Alumni tournament.
  • Lataya Williams, a senior from Falcon Heights, Minnesota, tournament champion in informative speaking and tournament champion in poetry interpretation at the WKU tournament.
  • Ashton Garber, a senior from Osprey, Florida, tournament champion in prose interpretation, second in quadrathon, second in informative speaking, second in dramatic interpretation and fifth in duo interpretation (with Matt Wisenden) at the Alumni tournament.
  • Paige Settles, a senior from Floyds Knobs, Indiana, tournament champion in impromptu speaking, second in extemporaneous speaking and fourth in communication analysis at the WKU tournament.
  • Jasmine Jones, a senior from Elizabethtown, tournament champion in informative speaking and second in communication analysis at the Alumni tournament.
  • Mark Allseits, a junior from Englewood, Florida, tournament champion of the round robin Lincoln-Douglas debate and quarterfinalist in Lincoln-Douglas debate at the Alumni tournament.
  • Lauren Sledge, a junior from Bowling Green, tournament champion in after-dinner speaking, fifth in informative speaking and sixth in communication analysis at the Alumni tournament.
  • Mackenzie Birkey, a sophomore from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, tournament champion in after-dinner speaking at the WKU tournament.
  • Andrea Ambam, a freshman from Peculiar, Missouri, tournament champion in programmed oral interpretation at the Alumni tournament.
  • Haddy Badjie, a senior from Lewisville, Texas, tournament champion in poetry interpretation at the Alumni tournament.
  • Elijah Thomas, a sophomore from Elizabethtown, second in poetry interpretation at the Alumni tournament.
  • Lyric Davis, a sophomore from Blue Springs, Missouri, third in duo interpretation (with Blake Knapp) and sixth in dramatic interpretation at the WKU tournament.
  • Blake Knapp, a sophomore from Blue Springs, Missouri, third in duo interpretation (with Lyric Davis) at the WKU tournament.
  • Damon Brown, a junior from Kansas City, Missouri, semifinalist in Lincoln-Douglas debate and fourth in extemporaneous speaking at the Alumni tournament.
  • Karl Brillant, a freshman from Sunrise, Florida, semifinalist in novice Lincoln-Douglas debate at the Alumni tournament.
  • Jon Sahlman, a junior from Modesto, California, semifinalist in Lincoln-Douglas debate at the Alumni tournament.
  • Brent O’Connor, a junior from Plantation, Florida, fourth in prose interpretation and fourth in poetry interpretation at the Alumni tournament.
  • Brian Anderson, a freshman from Hodgenville, fourth in dramatic interpretation and sixth in extemporaneous speaking at the WKU tournament.
  • Matt Wisenden, a freshman from Moorhead, Minnesota, fifth in duo interpretation (with Ashton Garber) at the Alumni tournament.
  • Sam Moore, a sophomore from Blue Springs, Missouri, fifth in prose interpretation at the WKU tournament.
  • Brian Anderson, a freshman from Hodgenville, quarterfinalist in novice Lincoln-Douglas debate at the Alumni tournament.
  • James Baugh, a junior from Manteca, California, quarterfinalist in Lincoln-Douglas debate at the Alumni tournament.
  • Michael Rizzo, a sophomore from Weston, Florida, sixth in informative speaking and sixth in after-dinner speaking at the WKU tournament.

More: Check out the WKU Forensics Facebook page or follow @wkuforensics on Twitter.

Contact: Ganer Newman, (270) 745-6340

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