WKU Forensics Team hosts tournament to open 2022-23 season
- WKU Forensics
- Monday, September 26th, 2022
The WKU Forensics Team kicked off the 2022-2023 season by hosting its annual Fall Tournament the weekend of September 23-25.
Combining four virtual tournaments into a single weekend, the event offered competition in debate and individual events over three days, hosting 28 universities from 16 states including University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Alabama, and Vanderbilt. WKU students competed in the tournament, but as host the team was not eligible for team sweepstakes awards.
WKU Director of Forensics Ganer Newman expressed his gratitude to members of the WKU faculty and staff who helped judge the tournament. “Colleagues from Broadcasting, The Center for Gifted Studies, Student Support Services, and Music pitched in to help judge the competition,” he said.
Newman also remarked on the involvement of alumni in the tournament. “Alumni from around the country offered their time to judge the competition. We are grateful for their continued support in making the tournament such a tremendous success!”
Along with hosting, WKU team members competed in the Fall Tournament contests. On Friday, the team competed in the Alexis Elliott Memorial Round Robin Debate Tournament, an annual selective debate competition featuring the previous season’s top two Lincoln-Douglas debaters from participating universities. WKU senior Andre Swai won the tournament on a 3-2 judge decision against a student from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Friday’s competition also featured the Rising Stars Challenge, an annual selective debate competition featuring the most promising Lincoln-Douglas debate students in their first two years of university varsity competition. WKU freshman Rae Fournier won that competition. The second half of the fall tournament featured a synchronous virtual open LD competition and an asynchronous individual events tournament.
Director of Debate Chad Meadows felt encouraged by the debate program’s strong start. “The WKU Round Robins are one of the most important benchmarks of our competitive season,” Meadows said. “To win both is a good signal that our season approach is on the right track, and that we have a good foundation to build on.”
The students traded duties hosting and competing in the subsequent Saturday and Sunday events. At the open LD Debate competition, Zachary Jones from the University of North Texas helped the team from Frisco, Texas, win the Debate Team Sweepstakes Championship. Eastern Michigan University won the Team Sweepstakes Award, and WKU sophomore Christian Butterfield claimed the Individual Sweepstakes Award at the Asynchronous Individual Events competition. UNT’s combined effort in debate and individual events culminated in the team winning Overall Team Sweepstakes Award.
This week, the Hilltoppers continue preparations for the first in person competition of the 2022-2023 season with a debate tournament hosted by Lafayette College.
Results from the WKU Fall Tournament
- After Dinner Speaking: Racheal Akinbayo of Houston, Texas, 2nd; Christian Butterfield of Bowling Green, Kentucky, 3rd; Dakota Perry of Morehead, Kentucky, 6th.
- Communication Analysis: Collin Tuerk of Morehead, Kentucky, 2nd.
- Duo Interpretation: Cecelia Alali of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Jonah Johnson of Burnsville, Minnesota, Champion.
- Extemporaneous Speaking: Christian Butterfield, 2nd; Antonina Clementi of Lafayette, Louisiana, 6th.
- Impromptu Speaking: Christian Butterfield, 4th; Miles Morton of Sherman Oaks, California, 5th.
- Informative Speaking: Samantha Sallee of Danville, Kentucky, 2nd.
- Persuasive Speaking: Kole Ingram of Hindman, Kentucky, Champion.
- Poetry Interpretation: Cecilia Alali, Champion.
- Program Oral Interpretation: Christian Butterfield, 2nd.
- Prose Interpretation: Jonah Johnson, 2nd; Caitlyn Woitena of Houston, Texas, 3rd, Jaleon Brown of Rayton, Missouri, 5th.
Results from the WKU Round Robin
- Rising Stars Speaker Awards: Rae Fournier of Arlington, Virginia, 1st; Antonina Clementi of Lafayette, Louisiana, 3rd.
- Rising Stars Final Places: Rae Fournier, Champion; Antonina Clementi, 3rd.
- Alexis Elliott Memorial Round Robin Final Places: Andre Swai of Springfield, Missouri, Champion.
Results from the WKU Fall Tournament LD Debate Portion
- Open LD Speaker Awards: Andre Swai, 2nd.
- Open LD Final Places: Andre Swai, Top 4; Rae Fournier, Top 8, Miles Morton of Los Angeles, California, Top 9.
Results from the Washburn University LD Warmup (September 17-18)
- Open LD Speaker Awards: Rae Fournier, 4th; Tanya Prabhakar of Danville, California, 5th.
- Open LD Final Places: Rae Fournier, Top 4; Tanya Prabhakar, Top 8
Contact: Ganer Newman, (270) 745-6340
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Western Kentucky University prides itself on positioning its students, faculty and staff for long term success. As a student-centered, applied research university, WKU helps students expand on classroom learning by integrating education with real-world applications in the communities we serve. Our hilltop campus is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, which was recently named by Reader’s Digest as one of the nicest towns in America, just an hour’s drive from Nashville, Tennessee.