WKU Forensics Team wins 2023 NFA-LD Grand Prix
- WKU Forensics
- Wednesday, March 29th, 2023
WKU Forensics Team members JaKayla Brown, Evan Grisham, Miles Morton, Andre Swai, Julie Mishchuk, Antonina Clementi, Rae Fournier, Tanya Prabhakar and Benjamin Williams won the sweepstakes championship at the 2023 NFA-LD Grand Prix.
The WKU Forensics Team captured the sweepstakes championship at the 5th Annual NFA-LD Grand Prix hosted by the University of North Texas Debate Team in Denton, Texas, on March 25 and 26.
The tournament is the season’s most challenging as it features a unique double elimination structure that requires more debates than invitational tournaments to crown a winner. This year’s tournament held consecutive 12 rounds over 48 hours of competition, across three different divisions.
WKU achieved team success by making two runs to the final round in the Novice and Open division and clearing all seven debaters to the elimination debates. WKU finished first in Open sweepstakes ahead of the University of North Texas and Washburn University and finished first in Combined Sweepstakes ahead of Washburn University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Additionally, the Lincoln-Douglas Debate Coaches Association awarded several honors at the tournament to recognize season-long competitive and academic success:
- Andre Swai of Springfield, Missouri, and Tanya Prabhakar of Danville, California, were named to the 2023 LD Coaches Association All-American Team, a team of 10 representing the best debaters of the season. Swai was ranked second and Prabhakar was ranked fifth. WKU was the only school with two in the top five.
- Julie Mishchuk of Nicholasville, Kentucky, was named one of three 2023 Emerging Debater of the Year recipients, in recognition of success in Novice and Junior Varsity.
- Graduate Assistant Evan Grisham was named the 2023 Judge of the Year, after being the most highly preferred judge at the Grand Prix.
- Antonina Clementi of Lafayette, Louisiana, and Julie Mishchuk were honored as National Debate Scholars – Summa Cum Laude, the highest academic honor at the tournament, for exceeding a 3.75 GPA while also travelling extensively for debate competition.
- Andre Swai was honored with the Student Choice Award voted on by peers.
Director of Debate Chad Meadows said: “This tournament was about celebrating the breadth of the debate experience. From the All-American team to the National Debate Scholar awards, our students shone as academics, members of a community, and as competitors. It’s fitting that this experience was able to culminate in all of the students and coaches helping to contribute to a sweepstakes win.”
At the 2023 Grand Prix, WKU competed against 19 other programs including Florida State University, Pennsylvania State University, Lafayette College, and the University of Minnesota, among others. WKU will face these programs and more at the National Forensics Association Lincoln-Douglas Debate national tournament hosted by Bradley University.
This weekend the team begins its final preparations for the upcoming national tournaments.
Results from the 2023 Grand Prix are as follows:
- Open LD Debate: Andre Swai, 2nd; Rae Fournier of Woodbridge, Virginia, 7th; Miles Morton of Sherman Oaks, California, 16th; Tanya Prabhakar, 17th; Antonina Clementi of Lafayette, Louisiana, 18th.
- Open LD Speakers: Tanya Prabhakar, 2nd; Antonina Clementi, 6th; Andre Swai, 7th; Rae Fournier, 13th.
- JV LD Debate: JaKayla Brown of Kansas City, Kansas, 6th.
- JV LD Speakers: JaKayla Brown, 2nd.
- Novice LD Debate: Julie Mishchuk, 2nd.
- Novice LD Speakers: Julie Mishchuk, 2nd.
- 2023 All American Team: Andre Swai (2nd); Tanya Prabhakar (5th)
- Student Choice Award: Andre Swai
- Emerging Debater of the Year Award: Julie Mishchuk.
- Judge of the Year: Evan Grisham.
- National Debate Scholar – Summa Cum Laude: Antonina Clementi; Julie Mishchuk.
- National Debate Scholar – Magna Cum Laude: Andre Swai.
- National Debate Scholar – Cum Laude: Tanya Prabhakar; Miles Morton.
More: Check out the WKU Forensics Facebook page or follow @wkuforensics and @DebateWku on Twitter.
Contact: Ganer Newman, (270) 745-6340
-- WKU –
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.
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