Forensics Team Ranked 18th in the Nation

Posted on April 11th, 2009 by

The forensics team is led by seniors Brittani Seagren, Kavan Rogness, Maria Siegle, and Tasha Carlson.

The forensics team is led by seniors Brittani Seagren, Kavan Rogness, Maria Siegle, and Tasha Carlson.

The Gustavus forensics team

The Gustavus forensics team

For the third consecutive year, the Gustavus Adolphus College forensics team earned a top 20 national ranking at the 32nd annual American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) April 4-6 on the campus of the University of Akron.

Competing against mostly Division I schools, Gustavus placed 18th in the team sweepstakes — the best showing in school history. Western Kentucky University won the team sweepstakes for the fourth straight year and for the sixth time in the last seven years.

“Being ranked 18th in the nation reflects the upward trajectory of our program and the College’s commitment to making Gustavus Forensics the paradigm for competitive forensics,” said head coach Kristofer Kracht. “I am especially proud of our four seniors. They have cultivated a legacy that will act as a benchmark for the future.”

Seventeen Gustavus students participated at the tournament and three advanced to the quarterfinal round in at least one event — placing them in the top 24 individually in the nation.

Sophomore Phil Helt advanced to the quarterfinal round in both Communication Analysis and After Dinner Speaking. Helt was one of 24 quarterfinalists out of 131 competitors in the After Dinner Speaking event. He was also one of 24 quarterfinalists out of 110 competitors in the Communication Analysis event.

Senior Tasha Carlson advanced to the quarterfinals in Prose Interpretation out of 155 competitors. First-year Chloe Radcliffe made her way to the quarterfinal round in Program Oral Interpretation out of 139 competitors.

Other Gustavus students who participated at the AFA-NIET include seniors Kavan Rogness, Maria Siegle, and Brittani Seagren; juniors Mary Cunningham, Christopher Hunt, and Paula Wiggam; sophomores Marie Bushnell, Eric Cronin, and Claire Sagstuen; and first-years Chloe Goldade, Katie Asfeld, Allegra Birdseye, Sam Hemmerich, and Luke Youngvorst.

The team’s success at the AFA-NIET comes on the heels of its first place finish at the Minnesota Collegiate Forensics Association State Championship on Feb. 22. For more information on results from that tournament go to

AFA-NIET Team Sweepstakes Top 20

1. Western Kentucky University
2. George Mason University
3. University of Texas at Austin
4. Bradley University
5. Illinois State University
6. California State, Long Beach
7. University of Nebraska-Lincoln
8. Arizona State University
9. University of Alabama
10. Ohio University
11. Doane College
12. James Madison University
13. University of Nebraska-Omaha
14. Northwestern University
15. Hastings College
16. Glendale Community College, California
17. Kansas State University
18. Gustavus Adolphus College
19. Saint Joseph’s University
20. University of Texas El Paso


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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