Forensics finishes fourth

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sophomore Thomas Opatz, Cambridge, led the forensic squad at the Valley Forensic League Tournament 1 by placing first in program oral interpretation and second in poetry interpretation.


The St. Cloud State forensics team continued to hone their skills by participating in the Valley Forensic League Tournaments 1 and 2 hosted by Concordia College in Moorhead on Nov. 20-21, 2009.

St. Cloud State Forensics finished fourth in the Team Sweepstakes at both tournaments. Eleven schools from four states attended the tournaments.

At the first tournament, sophomore Thomas Opatz, Cambridge, led the squad by placing first in program oral interpretation and second in poetry interpretation. Freshmen Jessica Shorter, Cannon Falls, and Nicole Hudak, Medford, placed sixth in dramatic duo interpretation. Two other team members also made their mark: freshmen Jason Lindberg, St. Cloud, finished tenth in after dinner speaking and Sarah Collie, Menomonie, Wis., finished tenth in program oral interpretation.

At the second tournament of the weekend, Opatz placed second in prose, second in poetry interpretation and second in program oral interpretation. Shorter and Hudak placed again by finishing sixth in dramatic duo interpretation. Lindberg also finished ninth in after dinner speaking. In addition, Sophomore Noah Gahm, Milaca, finished fifth in program oral interpretation and seventh in drama interpretation.

Junior Akinfolarin Gazal, St. Cloud, and freshman Jacenta Boser, Shoreview also attended these tournaments. Gazal participated in impromptu speaking and Boser participated in informative speaking.

On Nov. 24, St. Cloud State Forensics members attended the Parliamentary League of the Upper Midwest #3 Tournament hosted by Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato. The team comprised of Gazal and Hudak finished third overall. Individually, Gazal placed third, Hudak placed sixth and sophomore Tony Aliota, Zimmerman, placed ninth in speaker points. Also in attendance were senior Onome Egi, St. Paul, and freshmen Steven Pasevento, Sioux Falls, S.D., and Robert Zinda, Stevens Point, Wis.

Lastly, on Nov. 17, St. Cloud State Forensics members attended the Twin Cities Forensics League #3 Tournament hosted by Normandale Community College in Bloomington. This time, Opatz placed fourth in both poetry interpretation and oral interpretation. Senior Katlyn Carson, St. Paul Park, placed seventh in poetry interpretation and tenth in after dinner speaking. Shorter finished seventh in extemporaneous speaking and partnered with Hudak to place ninth in dramatic duo interpretation. Collie finished eighth in program oral interpretation and Gazal finished tenth in impromptu speaking. Also participating in this tournament were senior Cally Proctor, Dover, in after dinner speaking and freshman Megan Vogel, Shakopee, in prose interpretation.

This week, St. Cloud State forensics will attend the 44th Annual Holiday Tournament in Menomonie, Wis. on Dec. 4-5.

Participation in forensics (speech and debate) teaches students important public speaking, research, organizational, leadership, group work and critical thinking skills. The activity is open to all students in good academic standing. The St. Cloud State Forensics team is coached by Scott Wells, Eric Short, Jocelyn Walsh and Andrea Lovell. For more information, contact Scott Wells, Director of Forensics, at or 320-308-3000.

The forensics teams is one of nearly 200 student organizations at St. Cloud State that give students leadership, management and volunteer service/learning opportunities and foster an active campus community.

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