Fri. Sep 30th, 2022

WCU’s forensics (speech and debate) team dominated the Pennsylvania Forensics Association state tournament at Bloomsburg University on Feb. 15-16, winning as a team with 599 points and members taking first place in 10 of the 12 events.

The other schools that competed were Bloomsburg, Penn State, University of Pennsylvania, and Lafayette College. Lafayette College received second place with 170 points, making a 429 point difference between first and second place.

Wilkes College and St. Joseph’s University planned on competing, but both schools could not attend due to weather. While WCU still won last year’s state tournament, St. Joe’s came in second place as a team. Before last year, St. Joe’s remained undefeated state champions for years.

Kelsey Hockenberger, alumna and former competitor from St. Joe’s and current graduate assistant for WCU’s team from Mount Laurel, N.J., laments, “I was disappointed to not see my alma mater there. Still, I’m so proud of everyone on the team for all their hard work.”

Jill Heagerty, senior English major from Glen Mills, Pa., won a spot as one of Pennsylvania’s two representatives to the Interstate Oratorical Contest. IOC is the oldest continuously running national speech competition in the nation, specifically for the nation’s best collegiate persuasive speakers. Many leaders have competed in this contest, including William Jennings Bryan, Vernon Jordan, George McGovern, and Robert M. LaFollette.

For many team members, the tournament marked their first and last state tournament.

Emily Herman, freshman honors pre-med major from West Chester, Pa., describes her first state competition as a fantastic experience. She elaborates, “I’m proud of my team and myself. After all the hard work everyone put in, coming out as state champions is amazing!”

As a graduating senior, Joe Tetreault, history education major from Southampton, N.J. feels similarly to Emily. “Though there were many bumps in the tournament process, I was so inspired by the way we were all able to come together as a team and put our best feet forward. Each team member truly represented what it means to be part of this incredible WCU forensics family.”

Results for individual speakers on the team include:

Dan Hinderliter, senior honors middle grades education/communication studies major from Allentown, Pa.: first place, Pentathlon; first place, Informative Speaking; first place, Duo Interpretation with Kellen Kane; first place, Extemporaneous Speaking; first place, Parliamentary Debate speaker; second place, Parliamentary Debate with Ashley Murphy; third place, Prose Interpretation; third place, Dramatic Interpretation; fourth place, Persuasive Speaking.

Daquann Chung, senior communication studies major from Pocono Lake, Pa.: second place, Pentathlon; first place, Dramatic Interpretation; first place, Poetry Interpretation; second place, Prose Interpretation; second place, Rhetorical Criticism; second place, Duo Interpretation with Emily Herman.

Jill Heagerty, senior English major from Glen Mills, Pa.: third place, Pentathlon; first place, Persuasive Speaking; first place, After Dinner Speaking; first place, Rhetorical Criticism; third place, Informative Speaking; fourth place, Extemporaneous Speaking; fifth place, Impromptu Speaking.

Joe Tetreault, senior history education major from Southampton, N.J.: fourth place, Pentathlon; first place, Program Oral Interpretation; second place, Poetry Interpretation; third place, Rhetorical Criticism; fourth place, Dramatic Interpretation; fourth place, Impromptu Speaking; fourth place, Duo Interpretation with Josh Shapiro.

Ashley Murphy, senior honors English education/special education major from Lake Ariel, Pa.: second place, Parliamentary Debate with Dan Hinderliter; third place, Extemporaneous Speaking; sixth place, Poetry Interpretation.

Josh Shapiro, junior English major from Holland, Pa.: sixth place, Pentathlon; second place, Informative Speaking; second place, Impromptu Speaking; fourth place, Poetry Interpretation; fourth place, Duo Interpretation with Joe Tetreault.

Imani Thomas, junior communication studies major from Wyndmoor, Pa.: first place, Prose Interpretation; second place, Program Oral Interpretation.

Tarik Williams, junior English major from Effort, Pa.: second place, Parliamentary Debate speaker; sixth place, After Dinner Speaking.

Rebecca Anderson, sophomore honors economics and finance major from Williamsport, Pa.: third place, Program Oral Interpretation.

Kellen Kane, freshman honors chemistry major from Sunbury, Pa.: first place, Duo Interpretation with Dan Hinderliter; second place, Dramatic Interpretation; second place, After Dinner Speaking; third place, Duo Interpretation with Lauren Christ.

Emily Herman, freshman honors pre-med major from West Chester, Pa.: second place, Duo Interpretation with Daquann Chung; fourth place, Prose Interpretation; fifth place, Persuasive Speaking.

Lauren Christ, freshman pre-major from Tamaqua, Pa.: third place, Duo Interpretation with Kellen Kane.

Adam Franklin, freshman honors communication studies and fine arts major from Mechanicsburg, Pa.: third place, After Dinner Speaking.

Jill Heagerty is a fourth-year student majoring in English. She can be reached at JH760370@wcupa.edu.

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