BOWLING GREEN, KY (4/26/12) – The Western Kentucky University forensics team placed second at the National Forensics Association national championship tournament in both individual events and debate the weekend of April 19-23 in Athens, Ohio.
The top 10 schools in individual events were Bradley University, WKU, University of Texas at Austin, Illinois State University, Ohio University, Eastern Michigan University, University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire, Northwestern University, Gustavus Adolphus College and Ball State University. In debate, Truman State University placed first, followed by WKU, Rice University, Central Michigan University and Hillsdale College.
Second-year Director of Forensics Jace Lux is proud of his team’s effort. “Obviously, our overall goal was to bring the national championship trophy back to The Hill, so there’s always a little disappointment when you fall short of a goal,” he said. “But our students fought hard, and in the end, the number of points between first and second place was the smallest I can ever remember seeing since I’ve been involved in the activity. Hats off to Bradley University on a tremendous year.”
Lux said he encouraged his students to focus on all the positives the team experienced this year. “We talked on the bus on the way home, and I told them how proud I am of all of them and all of our coaches,” he said. “You wouldn’t believe how hard these students and coaches worked over the course of this season, and especially the past month or so. I think everyone was pulling seven-day workweeks in preparation for this tournament. We had a great season, and second place in the nation is nothing to feel bad about.”
Lux said he is already focusing on the 2012-2013 season. “We are losing very few seniors, which is great for next year,” he said. “I’ve already gotten some commitments from some very talented high school seniors and some transfer students, and I have recruitment visits all through the month of May and June. The outlook is very bright for the future of this program.”
In addition to recruiting and preparing for next year, Lux said he and the coaching staff will host a summer camp July 8-14. “One of the highlights of the summer for us is always our annual summer forensic institute,” Lux said. “We get the chance to work with junior high and high school students from all over the country, which is a lot of fun.”
The team will conclude its season with its annual forensics banquet next week, hosted by President Gary Ransdell and his wife, Julie. “The WKU administration is so supportive of our students, and I can’t thank them enough. We’ll have our banquet next week, then as far as I’m concerned, next year’s season starts the next day,” Lux said.
Three WKU students were ranked among the top 10 overall competitors in the nation. Junior Tyler Dailey placed second overall, senior Mario Nguyen placed fifth, and junior Sarah Brazier placed seventh.
“To place among the top ten in the nation at that tournament is extremely difficult, and the fact that we had three of the top 10 speaks volumes for the work that these students have done this year,” Lux said. “Tyler was the national runner-up by one point, a razor thin margin. The fact that he’s only a junior makes me ecstatic.”
Individual results from the National Forensic Association National Tournament are as follows:
Tyler Dailey, a junior from Blue Springs, Mo., national champion in informative speaking, second in pentathlon, second in duo interpretation (with Sarah Brazier) semifinalist in prose interpretation, semifinalist in duo interpretation (with Wilian Iralzabal) quarterfinalist in dramatic interpretation, quarterfinalist in after-dinner speaking and quarterfinalist in poetry interpretation.
Sarah Brazier, a junior from Wadsworth, Ohio, second in dramatic interpretation, second in duo interpretation (with Tyler Dailey) fourth in informative speaking and seventh in pentathlon.
Alexis Elliott, a sophomore from Kansas City, Mo., second debate speaker, fourth in impromptu speaking, semifinalist in extemporaneous speaking and quarterfinalist in Lincoln-Douglas debate.
Mario Nguyen, a senior from Plano, Texas, third in impromptu speaking, third in informative speaking, fifth in pentathlon, semifinalist in rhetorical criticism and semifinalist in duo interpretation (with Celena Allen).
Alexander Wozencraft, a senior from Tulsa, Okla., third in dramatic interpretation, quarterfinalist in prose interpretation and quarterfinalist in duo interpretation (with Celena Allen).
Spencer Orlowski, a sophomore from Davie, Fla., third debate speaker, quarterfinalist in persuasive speaking and double-octofinalist in Lincoln-Douglas debate.
Liz Courtney, a senior from San Antonio, Texas, fourth in extemporaneous speaking, sixth in impromptu speaking, semifinalist in rhetorical criticism and double-octofinalist in Lincoln-Douglas debate.
Lindsey White, a sophomore from St. Paul, Minn., fifth in prose interpretation, semifinalist in poetry interpretation and quarterfinalist in informative speaking.
Amanda Waid, a junior from Symsonia, semifinalist in prose interpretation, semifinalist in duo interpretation (with Layton Garlington) quarterfinalist in dramatic interpretation, quarterfinalist in after-dinner speaking and quarterfinalist in persuasive speaking.
Wilian Iralzabal, a senior from Union City, Calif., semifinalist in poetry interpretation and semifinalist in duo interpretation (with Tyler Dailey).
Celena Allen, a senior from Hayward, Calif., semifinalist in duo interpretation (with Mario Nguyen) quarterfinalist in poetry interpretation and quarterfinalist in duo interpretation (with Alex Wozencraft).
Khristan Solliday, a senior from Mitchell, Ind., semifinalist in impromptu speaking, quarterfinalist in extemporaneous speaking and quarterfinalist in after-dinner speaking.
Tiffany McLarty, a freshman from Bronx, N.Y., semifinalist in informative speaking and quarterfinalist in prose interpretation.
Nick Gilyard, a sophomore from Miami Gardens, Fla., semifinalist in informative speaking and quarterfinalist in after-dinner speaking.
Layton Garlington, a sophomore from Ruston, La., semifinalist in duo interpretation (with Amanda Waid) and quarterfinalist in rhetorical criticism.
Nefertiti Dukes, a freshman from Miami Gardens, Fla., 10th debate speaker and octofinalist in Lincoln-Douglas debate.
Austin Groves, a freshman from Blue Springs, Mo., semifinalist in dramatic interpretation.
Janniqua Dawkins, a freshman from Hollywood, Fla., semifinalist in persuasive speaking.
Justin Rodriguez, a sophomore from Coos Bay, Ore., quarterfinalist in prose interpretation.
Matt Whitman, a senior from Austin, Texas, quarterfinalist in extemporaneous speaking.
Richard Heyne, a sophomore from Sunrise, Fla., quarterfinalist in rhetorical criticism.
Marshall Covert, a sophomore from St. Paul, Minn., quarterfinalist in persuasive speaking.
Susan Taylor, a junior from Kansas City, Mo., octofinalist in Lincoln-Douglas debate.
Information provided by WKU
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