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WKU Forensics Team wins 2017 state championship

The WKU Forensics Team won the 2017 Kentucky state forensics tournament on Saturday (Feb. 18) at Owensboro Community and Technical College.

WKU won the overall state championship, sweeping all three of the team sweepstakes championships along the way: individual events, NPDA debate and IPDA debate. The team also collected 11 individual state championships. The University of Kentucky placed second in overall sweepstakes, and Berea College placed third. Additionally, WKU took the top two ranks in quadrathon, a measure of a student’s success across the entire tournament, as Andrea Ambam was first and Elijah Thomas was second.

WKU Director of Forensics Ganer Newman was pleased with the team’s results. “We are all proud to see all our students’ hard work pay off with a State Championship,” he said.

Despite the state title, the season is far from over. “While we are all so excited about this State Championship, we have a lot of work to do to reclaim the AFA National Championship and hold on to our NFA National Championship titles,” Newman said.

At the American Forensic Association District-Six National Qualifying Tournament, hosted on the campus of the University of Alabama, WKU also earned the team sweepstakes championships at both of the tournaments. Other competing schools included the University of Alabama, the University of Florida and William Carey University. The tournament on Saturday (Feb. 18) was the regional qualifier tournament for the American Forensic Association national tournament, which allows teams to qualify students later in the year who may not have had an opportunity to qualify at-large earlier in the competition season.

Next weekend, the team will again split to compete in two locations: Evanston and Normal, Illinois.

Individual results for the 44th Annual Kentucky Forensic Association State Tournament are as follows:

The WKU Forensics Team won the state championship Feb. 18 in Owensboro.

The WKU Forensics Team won the state championship Feb. 18 in Owensboro.

  • Andrea Ambam, a sophomore from Peculiar, Missouri, state champion in quadrathon, state champion in informative speaking, state champion in poetry interpretation, second in programmed oral interpretation, second in persuasive speaking and third in after-dinner speaking.
  • Elijah Thomas, a junior from Elizabethtown, state champion in prose interpretation, second in quadrathon, second in informative speaking, second in poetry interpretation and second in duo interpretation (with Curtis Milby).
  • Jon Sahlman, a senior from Modesto, California, state champion in NPDA parliamentary debate (with Alex Rivera) top NPDA debate speaker, state champion in impromptu speaking and fourth in extemporaneous speaking.
  • Brian Anderson, a sophomore from Hodgenville, state champion in extemporaneous speaking, second in impromptu speaking and third NPDA debate speaker.
  • Sam Moore, a junior from Blue Springs, Missouri, state champion in programmed oral interpretation, third in dramatic interpretation and fourth in duo interpretation (with Curtis Milby).
  • Murphy Burke, a junior from Des Moines, Iowa, top IPDA debate speaker, second in after-dinner speaking and quarterfinalist in IPDA parliamentary debate.
  • Alyssa Wilhelm, a freshman from Roseville, Minnesota, state champion in dramatic interpretation and fifth in duo interpretation (with Faith LoPiccolo).
  • Alex Rivera, a freshman from Newton, Kansas, state champion in NPDA parliamentary debate (with Jon Sahlman) and eighth NPDA debate speaker.
  • Emily Falica, a freshman from Scottsville, state champion in editorial impromptu and third IPDA debate speaker.
  • Curtis Milby, a junior from Hodgenville, second in duo interpretation (with Elijah Thomas), third in prose interpretation, fourth in dramatic interpretation and fourth in duo interpretation (with Sam Moore).
  • Lily Nellans, a junior from Des Moines, Iowa, third in communication analysis, fourth in persuasive speaking, seventh IPDA debate speaker and semifinalist in IPDA parliamentary debate.
  • Damon Brown, a senior from Kansas City, Missouri, third in extemporaneous speaking, sixth in impromptu speaking, sixth NPDA debate speaker and quarterfinalist in NPDA parliamentary debate (with Bailey Rung).
  • Claire Champagne, a freshman from Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, third in persuasive speaking.
  • Anthony Survance, a freshman from Louisville, fourth in communication analysis, fifth IPDA debate speaker and quarterfinalist in IPDA parliamentary debate.
  • Bailey Rung, a junior from Blaine, Minnesota, fifth in impromptu speaking, fifth NPDA debate speaker and quarterfinalist in NPDA parliamentary debate (with Damon Brown).
  • Faith LoPiccolo, a freshman from Lexington, fifth in duo interpretation (with Alyssa Wilhelm), sixth in after-dinner speaking and sixth in poetry interpretation.
  • Kelly Stone, a sophomore from Louisburg, Kansas, fifth in communication analysis.

Results from the District-6 AFA Qualifier/“Black Warrior” Invitational are as follows:

The WKU Forensics Team won team sweepstakes at two tournaments in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

The WKU Forensics Team won team sweepstakes championships at two tournaments Feb. 18 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

  • Matt Wisenden, a sophomore from Moorhead, Minnesota, tournament champion in informative speaking, tournament champion in poetry interpretation and tournament champion in duo interpretation (with Durwan Green) at the D6 tournament.
  • Tyler McDaniel, a sophomore from Indianapolis, Indiana, tournament champion in after-dinner speaking, third in duo interpretation (with Asha Wasuge) and fifth in prose interpretation at the D6 tournament; fifth in prose interpretation at the Black Warrior tournament.
  • Camille Acosta, a senior from El Paso, Texas, tournament champion in programmed oral interpretation, fourth in duo interpretation (with Sean Diaz) and sixth in after-dinner speaking at the D6 tournament; third in duo interpretation (with Sean Diaz) at the Black Warrior tournament.
  • Brent O’Connor, a senior from Plantation, Florida, tournament champion in duo interpretation (with Blake Knapp) and second in duo interpretation (with Lyric Davis) at the Black Warrior tournament; second in duo interpretation (with Blake Knapp) and sixth in duo interpretation (with Lyric Davis) at the D6 tournament.
  • Sean Diaz, a junior from El Paso, Texas, tournament champion in poetry interpretation and third in duo interpretation (with Camille Acosta) at the Black Warrior tournament; second in prose interpretation, third in poetry interpretation and fourth in duo interpretation (with Camille Acosta) at the D6 tournament.
  • Blake Knapp, a junior from Blue Springs, Missouri, tournament champion in duo interpretation (with Blake Knapp) at the Black Warrior tournament; second in duo interpretation (with Brent O’Connor) and fourth in prose interpretation at the D6 tournament.
  • Lyric Davis, a junior from Blue Springs, Missouri, tournament champion in after-dinner speaking and second in duo interpretation (with Brent O’Connor) at the Black Warrior tournament; sixth in duo interpretation (with Brent O’Connor) at the D6 tournament.
  • Asha Wasuge, a junior from Irvine, California, tournament champion in dramatic interpretation and third in persuasive speaking at the Black Warrior tournament; third in duo interpretation (with Tyler McDaniel) and sixth in persuasive speaking at the D6 tournament.
  • Casey Child, a sophomore from Taylor Mill, tournament champion in persuasive speaking at the Black Warrior tournament; fourth in persuasive speaking at the D6 tournament.
  • Durwan Green, a junior from Lewisville, Texas, tournament champion in duo interpretation (with Matt Wisenden) at the D6 tournament.
  • Megan Armstrong, a junior from Morehead, second in communication analysis at the D6 tournament; second in communication analysis at the Black Warrior tournament.
  • Natalie Hedberg, a sophomore from Chaska, Minnesota, second in persuasive speaking at the D6 tournament; second in persuasive speaking at the Black Warrior tournament.
  • Mackenzie Birkey, a junior from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, second in prose interpretation and third in communication analysis at the Black Warrior tournament; fifth in communication analysis at the D6 tournament.
  • Mark Allseits, a senior from Englewood, Florida, fourth in communication analysis at the D6 tournament.
  • Eli Lamb, a freshman from Leesburg, Georgia, fourth in impromptu speaking at the D6 tournament.
  • Michael Rizzo, a junior from Weston, Florida, fifth in after-dinner speaking at the Black Warrior tournament.

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

Contact: Ganer Newman, (270) 745-6340

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