The Gustavus Adolphus College forensics team, which has achieved a top 10 national ranking during the past two seasons, is off to an impressive start to the 2012-13 season.
The team experienced a successful month of October as it claimed first place in the team sweepstakes of both the Jackrabbit Jousts at South Dakota State University (Oct. 5-6) and the Larry Schnoor Invitational at Minnesota State University, Mankato (Oct. 20-21).
“I have been most impressed by the improvement of several returning members,” Director of Forensics Kristofer Kracht said. “We have several new faces in the program from across the country, and it is exciting to watch them succeed at this level. Once everyone clearly understands the process required of a successful team, we have the potential to have a very rewarding second half of the season.”
At the Jackrabbit Jousts, the team recorded four firsts, a second, and three thirds in individual events to finish ahead of Concordia College, Moorhead and Minnesota State University, Mankato among others in the team sweepstakes.
Sophomore Courtney Train took first place in both After Dinner Speaking and Program Oral Interpretation. Sophomore Brittany Knutson placed first in Informative Speaking, while senior Kaitlin Burlingame won top honors in Prose Interpretation.
Junior Mariecus Jarvis finished second in Poetry Interpretation. Third place performances included Burlingame in After Dinner Speaking, Knutson in Communication Analysis and first-year students Wilson Fields and Elizabeth Shows in Duo Interpretation.
At the Larry Schnoor Invitational, the Gusties earned five firsts, two seconds, and six thirds to beat out teams such as the University of Nebraska-Omaha and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire for the team sweepstakes title.
Junior Kelsey Abele took first place in Program Oral Interpretation, while sophomore Kate Spaulding finished first in Impromptu Speaking. Burlingame placed first in Prose Interpretation, while Knutson won the Communication Analysis event.
Second place performances at the Schnoor Invitational came from junior Shelby Wilds in Informative Speaking and senior Hannah Engel in After Dinner Speaking. Third place performances included Junior Ava Goepfert in Informative Speaking, sophomore Karin Nordin in Dramatic Interpretation, Moua in Poetry Interpretation, Train in both After Dinner Speaking and Program Oral Interpretation, and Wilds in Communication Analysis.
More recently, the team took part in the 65th annual L.E. Norton Memorial Tournament at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. In one of the more prestigious and competitive tournaments of the year, the Gusties were able to place eighth out of 47 teams including some of the top programs in the country.
Wilds was one of the team’s top performers at the tournament as she placed second in Communication Analysis, sixth in Impromptu Speaking, and was also a semifinalist in Informative Speaking. Burlingame placed third in Prose Interpretation, while Moua took sixth in Persuasion. First year student Emily Albrecht took second place in the Novice Prose category, while Shows took sixth in Novice Program Oral Interpretation.
The team had a number of competitors advance to the semifinals in various events including Goepfert, Engel, and Knutson in Informative Speaking, Spaulding and junior Sonja Johnson in Impromptu Speaking, Train in After Dinner Speaking, Burlingame and Abele in Duo Interpretation, and first-year student Jace Riggin in Novice Prose Interpretation.
In addition to the impressive results at the Jackrabbit Jousts, the Larry Schnoor Invitational, and the L.E. Norton Memorial Tournament, the team also placed fifth at the I74 Swing in Illinois, third at the Halloween Swing in Nebraska, and first at the initial Twin Cities Forensics League tournament.
Team members say that they are pleased with how the season has gone so far and that they are optimistic about where the team is headed.
“Each member of this team has an incredible passion for forensics,” Wilds said. “It’s a lot of work, but I think that the commitment that has been shown to each other and this activity has put us in a great place to really go after all of the goals that we’ve set for ourselves.”
“This particular team is motivated, not by trophies, but passion for performance, communication, and the forensics community,” Knutson said. “Our success this season is merely a reflection of that commitment and passion.”
The team has a somewhat light tournament schedule during the rest of November and December. The team will compete at the Michael Nicolai Collegiate Forensics Tournament at the University of Wisconsin-Stout on Nov. 30-Dec. 1. The team will use most of December to prepare for a busy schedule in January that includes tournaments in Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas.
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Matt Thomas