Forensics Team Experiences Strong Start

The Truman Forensics Team recently enjoyed a successful season opener, earning several final round finishes while qualifying for the national tournament.
The team traveled the weekend of Sept. 24 to Bowling Green, Ky., for the Western Kentucky University Forensics Fiesta, taking part in two individual events tournaments and one debate tournament over two days.

At their first collegiate competition, as well as the first tournament of the weekend, freshmen AJ Taula and Arielle Long-Seabra took fifth place in Varsity Duo. Junior Andrew Grojean took sixth place in Varsity Impromptu and sophomore Jessica Petrie was awarded the championship trophy in Varsity Impromptu.

Truman’s team also did well at the second individual events tournament. Petrie took fourth place in Varsity Impromptu and Taula took fourth place in Varsity Dramatic Interpretation.  

“Our squad was facing Alabama, Ohio and Western Kentucky, who are arguably the top three teams in the nation,” Russ Luce, assistant director of forensics, said. “For our smaller squad to face them in preliminary and out rounds and beat them on a consistent basis says a lot about both the talent the team has and how much work they have put into getting ready for this tournament.”

The debate squad also broke three competitors to elimination rounds. Freshman John Carney advanced to quarterfinals in Varsity Lincoln-Douglas Debate where he met his teammate. In this situation, rather than competing against each other, the higher seed advances.  

Freshman Myra Milam advanced to teammate, senior Dylan Clark, in the varsity semi-final round. Milam advanced again to the final round, taking second place overall at the tournament. Clark and Milam also earned fourth and second places respectively in the individual speaker category.  

The individual accomplishments of each team member also contributed to team awards, including a fifth place overall award in debate. The individual events team earned third place for the second half of the tournament. These results culminated in the team taking a second place combined award for the entire weekend.

“This was a great way to start out the year,” Luce said. “We faced some great competition both in individual events and debate and had a great showing. Getting these results at a tournament this difficult is an indicator of continued success throughout the year.”

For more information about forensics or to express interest in competiting, contact Kristi Scholten, director of forensics, at
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