The WKU Forensics Team was crowned team sweepstakes champion, ahead of 47 other schools, at the largest tournament of the fall semester Nov. 5-6 in Peoria, Illinois.
The 69th Annual L.E. Norton Memorial Tournament, hosted by Bradley University, is one of the oldest collegiate forensics tournaments and has historically served as a predictor of success at April’s national tournament.
Out of 20 possible individual championships available, WKU students won six and took an additional eight second-place finishes. Other competing schools included Northwestern University, George Mason University, University of Alabama, Illinois State University and the University of Texas at Austin. In total, 23 states were represented in the competition.
Two WKU team members also placed in the top five in pentathalon, a measure of personal success across five events; sophomore Andrea Ambam placed third and junior Lily Nellans placed fourth.
WKU Director of Forensics Ganer Newman praised the quality of the competition at the event. “This was a difficult tournament for many reasons,” he said. “This is one of the largest tournaments we attend before nationals so it always attracts top competition. The competition was formidable and from a statistical perspective, the number of competitors entered in each event made advancing to final rounds incredibly challenging. Our students had to give their absolute best performances round after round to stay on top.”
Newman also praised the class leadership. “It was amazing to see our seniors, upper class competitors, and new transfer students take on leadership roles at this tournament. The students were always encouraging and constantly found ways to support their teammates,” he said.
“I am incredibly proud of the efforts of our coaches. They work with our students day in and day out to help them develop passionate performances to compete at the highest level nationally. We had finalists in every varsity event at the tournament. That is a testament to the incredible education our coaching staff provides our students at WKU,” Newman said.
The team will travel again next weekend to McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois.
Results from the 69th Annual “L.E. Norton” Bradley Invitational are as follows:
- Andrea Ambam, a sophomore from Peculiar, Missouri, tournament champion in after-dinner speaking, tournament champion in informative speaking, second in persuasive speaking, third in pentathalon, semifinalist in programmed oral interpretation and quarterfinalist in prose interpretation.
- Murphy Burke, a junior from Des Moines, Iowa, tournament champion in impromptu speaking, sixth in after-dinner speaking and semifinalist in persuasive speaking.
- Lyric Davis, a junior from Blue Springs, Missouri, tournament champion in duo interpretation (with Durwan Green) and fifth in poetry interpretation.
- Durwan Green, a junior from Lewisville, Texas, tournament champion in duo interpretation (with Lyric Davis) and semifinalist in programmed oral interpretation.
- Alex Rivera, a freshman from Newton, Kansas, tournament champion in novice impromptu speaking.
- Faith LoPiccolo, a freshman from Lexington, tournament champion in novice duo interpretation (with Alyssa Wilhelm).
- Alyssa Wilhelm, a freshman from Roseville, Minnesota, tournament champion in novice duo interpretation (with Faith LoPiccolo).
- Lily Nellans, a junior from Des Moines, Iowa, second in impromptu speaking, fourth in pentathalon and fourth in informative speaking.
- Eli Lamb, a freshman from Leesburg, Georgia, second in novice informative speaking and fourth in novice impromptu speaking.
- Brent O’Connor, a senior from Plantation, Florida, second in prose interpretation and sixth in poetry interpretation.
- Blake Knapp, a junior from Blue Springs, Missouri, second in informative speaking and semifinalist in poetry interpretation.
- Asha Wasuge, a junior from Irvine, California, second in poetry interpretation and semifinalist in after-dinner speaking.
- Tyler McDaniel, a sophomore from Indianapolis, Indiana, second in programmed oral interpretation.
- Curtis Milby, a junior from Hodgenville, second in dramatic interpretation.
- Claire Champagne, a freshman from Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, third in novice persuasive speaking and third in novice prose interpretation.
- Tyara Hooks, a freshman from Fulton, Georgia, third in novice poetry interpretation and fourth in novice dramatic interpretation.
- Emily Falica, a freshman from Scottsville, third in novice impromptu speaking and fifth in novice extemporaneous speaking.
- Camille Acosta, a senior from El Paso, Texas, third in dramatic interpretation and semifinalist in prose interpretation.
- Damon Brown, a senior from Kansas City, Missouri, third in extemporaneous speaking.
- Sean Diaz, a junior from El Paso, Texas, fourth in programmed oral interpretation, sixth in duo interpretation (with Sam Moore) and semifinalist in dramatic interpretation.
- Megan Armstrong, a junior from Morehead, fifth in extemporaneous speaking, fifth in informative speaking and semifinalist in persuasive speaking.
- Sam Moore, a junior from Blue Springs, Missouri, fifth in prose interpretation, sixth in duo interpretation (with Sean Diaz) and semifinalist in dramatic interpretation.
- Casey Child, a sophomore from Taylor Mill, fifth in communication analysis.
- Brian Anderson, a sophomore from Hodgenville, sixth in extemporaneous speaking and quarterfinalist in impromptu speaking.
- Anthony Survance, a freshman from Louisville, seventh in novice impromptu speaking.
- Mark Allseits, a senior from Englewood, Florida, semifinalist in communication analysis and semifinalist in extemporaneous speaking.
- Mackenzie Birkey, a junior from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, semifinalist in after-dinner speaking.
- Michael Rizzo, a junior from Weston, Florida, semifinalist in informative speaking.
Contact: Ganer Newman, (270) 745-6340