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WKU Forensics Team opens 2016-17 season as tournament host

The WKU Forensics Team kicked off its competitive season by hosting the Fall Forensic Tournament on WKU’s campus the weekend of Sept. 16-18.

Combining four tournaments in one weekend, the event offered competition in debate and individual events over three days, hosting 22 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 that the tournament is intended to bring debate and public speaking together. “In one weekend, we hosted two Lincoln-Douglas debate tournaments and two individual events tournaments,” he said. “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 the 40 or so professors and graduate students who volunteered as judges. This tournament was truly a community effort.”

Along with hosting, WKU team members also competed. “Our students won 11 individual event championships, closed out both the semifinal round of open debate and the final round of novice debate, and won both of the individual sweepstakes championships,” 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 as “some of the best in the nation.”

Next weekend, the Hilltoppers will travel to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, to compete at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Results from the WKU Fall Forensic Tournament are as follows:

  • Andrea Ambam, a sophomore from Peculiar, Missouri, quadrathon champion, tournament champion in informative speaking, tournament champion in persuasive speaking, tournament champion in poetry interpretation and tournament champion in prose interpretation at the WKU tournament.
  • Damon Brown, a senior from Kansas City, Missouri, top debate speaker and tournament co-champion in open Lincoln-Douglas debate; quadrathon champion, second in extemporaneous speaking and sixth in impromptu speaking at the Alumni tournament; second debate speaker and third in Lincoln-Douglas debate at the round-robin tournament.
  • Brian Anderson, a sophomore from Hodgenville, tournament champion in extemporaneous speaking and tournament champion in impromptu speaking at the Alumni tournament.
  • Alex Rivera, a freshman from Newton, Kansas, tournament co-champion in novice Lincoln-Douglas debate, with an undefeated record, and top novice debate speaker.
  • Lily Nellans, a junior from Des Moines, Iowa, tournament champion in extemporaneous speaking, second in communication analysis, second in impromptu speaking and third in persuasive speaking at the WKU tournament.
  • Bradley Wascher, a freshman from Montgomery, Alabama, tournament champion in impromptu speaking and fourth in extemporaneous speaking at the WKU tournament.
  • Anthony Survance, a freshman from Louisville, tournament co-champion in novice Lincoln-Douglas debate, with an undefeated record, and fourth novice debate speaker.
  • Sean Diaz, a junior from El Paso, Texas, tournament champion in programmed oral interpretation and fourth in dramatic interpretation at the WKU tournament.
  • Michael Rizzo, a junior from Weston, Florida, tournament champion in persuasive speaking at the Alumni tournament.
  • Asha Wasuge, a junior from Irvine, California, tournament champion in poetry interpretation at the Alumni tournament.
  • Mark Allseits, a senior from Englewood, Florida, tournament co-champion in open Lincoln-Douglas debate and second debate speaker; fourth in extemporaneous speaking at the Alumni tournament.
  • Jon Sahlman, a senior from Modesto, California, tournament co-champion in open Lincoln-Douglas debate and fourth debate speaker; third in impromptu speaking at the Alumni tournament.
  • James Baugh, a senior from Manteca, California, tournament co-champion in open Lincoln-Douglas debate; sixth in extemporaneous speaking at the Alumni tournament.
  • Bailey Rung, a junior from Blaine, Minnesota, second in Lincoln-Douglas debate and third debate speaker at the round-robin tournament; second in impromptu speaking at the Alumni tournament.
  • Megan Armstrong, a junior from Morehead, second in extemporaneous speaking and second in informative speaking at the WKU tournament.
  • Brent O’Connor, a senior from Plantation, Florida, second in prose interpretation, third in poetry interpretation and sixth in communication analysis at the WKU tournament.
  • Lauren Groves, a senior from Bowling Green, second in communication analysis and fifth in after-dinner speaking at the Alumni tournament.
  • Lyric Davis, a junior from Blue Springs, Missouri, second in poetry interpretation and seventh in dramatic interpretation at the Alumni tournament.
  • Alyssa Wilhelm, a freshman from Roseville, Minnesota, second in prose interpretation at the Alumni tournament.
  • Durwan Green, a junior from Lewisville, Texas, second in poetry interpretation at the WKU tournament.
  • Casey Child, a sophomore from Taylor Mill, third in communication analysis and third in poetry interpretation at the Alumni tournament.
  • Sam Moore, a junior from Blue Springs, Missouri, third in prose interpretation at the WKU tournament.
  • Mackenzie Birkey, a junior from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, third in after-dinner speaking at the WKU tournament.
  • Faith LoPiccolo, a freshman from Lexington, fourth in after-dinner speaking at the Alumni tournament.
  • Lane Hedrick, a sophomore from Morehead, fifth in extemporaneous speaking, fifth in impromptu speaking at the Alumni tournament; quarterfinalist in open Lincoln-Douglas debate.
  • Kelly Stone, a sophomore from Louisburg, Kansas, fifth debate speaker and quarterfinalist in open Lincoln-Douglas debate.
  • Emily Falica, a freshman from Scottsville, fifth novice debate speaker.
  • Kayla English, a sophomore from Indianapolis, Indiana, fifth in communication analysis 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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