North Central’s forensics team places in state, national contests, brings home All-American

May 06, 2016

North Central College’s reputation as a top national competitor in forensics and debate continues to thrive.

In team competition, the College placed third in the state at the Illinois Intercollegiate Forensic Association State Tournament March 4-5, third overall of 80 schools at the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament March 17-20, 13th (North Central’s highest-ever placement) of 70 schools at the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) April 1-4, and 13th of 80 schools at the National Forensic Association (NFA) Tournament April 14-18.

In individual competition, Rachel West ’16 (photo, lower left) seized top, record-setting honors in multiple tournaments. The American Forensic Association named West an All-American, a prestigious honor that recognizes high achievement in coursework, service to the greater community and forensic excellence. Previous North Central College All-Americans include Laura Fancher ’01 Bower, Lisa Barber ’03, Megan Orcholski ’05, Gillian Owens ’06, Sarah Brady ’08 and Abby Escatel ’15.

In the state contest, West took first place in After Dinner Speaking, second place in Oratory and fifth place in Duo Interpretation with Davonte Sanders-Funches ’18. By placing in the top 2 in Oratory, West represented Illinois at the Interstate Oratorical Association tournament where she placed second in the nation—the highest-ever finish for North Central College. She is the fourth person to ever qualify from North Central for the competition, which has existed for nearly 150 years.

“The fact that we’ve sent three in the last six years to this tournament is quite an accomplishment, considering the forensic excellence in our state,” said John Stanley, North Central College assistant professor of communication and director of Individual Events. The College’s overall success is due in part to the coaching and leadership of codirectors Stanley and Richard Paine, who is coach of the Debate team, professor of speech communication/theatre and Ruge Fellow.

At the AFA-NIET, West also won first place National Champion in After Dinner Speaking and Semifinalist (top 12) in Duo Interpretation with Sanders-Funches. At the NFA tournament, West was Semifinalist in Dramatic Interpretation.
Additional North Central students won top honors in these state and national contests:

Illinois Intercollegiate Forensic Association State Tournament, March 4-5:
•    Carolyn Clarke ’17: second place in International Public Debate, sixth place in Oratory
•    Thea Klinker ’17 and Joshua DuBois ’19: second place in Parliamentary Debate; Klinker also placed fifth in Oratory
•    Alexander Pabon ’17: seventh in Extemporaneous Speaking
•    Torie Trenter ’17: sixth in Prose Interpretation
•    Nicole Smith ’18 : third in Poetry, sixth in Program of Oral Interpretation, third in Duo Interpretation with Reese Richardson ’18
•    Harry Bodell ’16: third in After Dinner Speaking, semifinalist with David Roznovjak ’17 in Parliamentary Debate

Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament, March 17-20:
•    Clarke and Pabon: first place National Champions in Parliamentary Debate; Clarke was a quarterfinalist in Persuasive Speaking
•    Joshua Zellar ’16 and Kelly Bressanelli ’16: quarterfinalists in Novice Parliamentary Debate
•    Klinker: quarterfinalist in Persuasive Speaking, first place speaker in International Public Debate (IPDA) and second place in the event
•    Bodell: second place in After Dinner Speaking, second place speaker in Parliamentary Debate
•    Smith: third in program of Oral Interpretation, semifinalist in Poetry (top 12 in the nation)
•    Richardson: semifinalist in Informative Speaking, quarterfinalist (top 24 in the nation) in After Dinner Speaking, semifinalist in Novice IPDA
•    Bobby Taves ’17: quarterfinalist in After Dinner Speaking
•    Albert Tracy ’16: fifth place in Prose Interpretation, semifinalist in Duo Interpretation with Trenter, quarterfinalist in Dramatic Interpretation
•    Pabon: semifinalist in Communication Analysis, semifinalist in Extemporaneous Speaking, semifinalist in Impromptu Speaking
•    Norah Flaherty ’19: semifinalist in Communication Analysis, quarterfinalist in Prose Interpretation
•    Tegan Follis ’18: quarterfinalist in Prose
•    Zach Murphy ’16: quarterfinalist in Poetry
•    Team: fifth in Debate, fourth in Individual Events, third overall

American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament, April 1-4:
•    Pabon: semifinalist in Extemporaneous Speaking
National Forensic Association Tournament, April 14-18:
•    Bodell: quarterfinalist in Impromptu Speaking, quarterfinalist in Extemporaneous Speaking
•    Richard Besel ’99 was inducted into the National Forensic Association Hall of Fame

For more information about forensics at North Central College click here.