Gustavus Forensics Team Places Ninth at Nationals

Posted on April 10th, 2012 by

The Gustavus Adolphus College forensics team earned its best finish in school history at the American Forensic Association’s National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) when it placed ninth in the Team Sweepstakes on Monday, April 9.

The team earned 189.5 points during the three-day tournament (April 7-9), which took place at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. This is the third straight year that the team has finished with a top 10 national ranking after it placed 10th in both 2010 and 2011. Bradley University took first place in the Team Sweepstakes with 501.5 points. Gustavus is one of only a few smaller colleges that placed in the top 20 which is dominated by larger research universities.

“Our ninth place finish is a testament to the students’ commitment to excellence and their willingness to commit to the preparation process,” said Kristofer Kracht, director of the Gustavus forensics program. “They earned this national ranking over the past eight months. It is an honor to coach a team that wants to be great.”

Chloe Radcliffe '12

For the second straight year, senior Chloe Radcliffe left the AFA-NIET with an individual national championship after she placed first in the After Dinner Speaking event out of 141 competitors. Radcliffe won the national championship in Prose last year. In addition to the first place finish in ADS, Radcliffe advanced to the semifinals in Dramatic Interpretation and Program Oral Interpretation. Radcliffe was also a quarterfinalist in both Informative Speaking and Dramatic Duo along with first-year student Brady Mueller. Her strong performances put her in fourth place in the Individual Sweepstakes—the best finish by a Gustavus forensics team member in school history.

“By winning two national championships, Chloe cemented her legacy as one of the finest competitors in the history of the AFA-NIET,” Kracht said. “Her legacy will be difficult to replicate, but it proves that any student from Gustavus can be a national champion. Chloe earned this distinction, and I could not be more proud. It has been a privilege for our staff to coach her.”

Several other individuals broke events to out-rounds at the tournament. Junior Kaitlin Burlingame was a semifinalist in Prose, sophomore Shelby Wilds was a quarterfinalist in Communication Analysis, senior Luke Youngvorst was a quarterfinalist in Persuasion, and sophomore Kelsey Abele was a quarterfinalist in Program Oral Interpretation.

Other team members who competed at the AFA-NIET included seniors Allegra Birdseye and Sam Hemmerich; juniors Hannah Engel and Christopher Moua; sophomores Justin Feit, Mariecus Jarvis, and Sonja Johnson; and first-year students Carrianne Brobst, Colleen Caldwell, Carl Cronin, Jason Dennis, Nick Gersch, Brittany Knutson, Jerica Massey, Karin Nordin, Kate Spaulding, Matt Timmons, and Courtney Train.

Team Sweepstakes Top 20:

  1. Bradley University
  2. University of Texas-Austin
  3. Western Kentucky University
  4. George Mason University
  5. University of Nebraska-Omaha
  6. Illinois State University
  7. University of Alabama
  8. University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  9. Gustavus Adolphus College
  10. University of Northern Iowa
  11. Kansas State University
  12. Eastern Michigan University
  13. Belmont University
  14. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
  15. Concordia College, Moorhead
  16. Hastings College
  17. Texas State University
  18. Doane College
  19. California State University, Long Beach
  20. Tennessee State University

The full results from this year’s AFA-NIET are available online at

For more information about the Gustavus forensics program go online to


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



  1. Bruce and Diane Kracht says:

    Way to go Gusties!!!! Your hard work and dedication really paid off. Everyone should be proud of their accomplishments, both coaches and students. We are proud of you!!!!!!!! You made history and OWNED THE ROOM.

  2. Mom Abele (miriam anderson) says:

    So proud of this Gustavus Team!!!

  3. odediran Sola says:

    Proud to be a Gustie mum. so proud of this team.

  4. Bridget Phillips says:

    This is wonderful news! They just keep getting better and better. And Chelsea… what to say? WELL DONE!!

  5. Chaplain Rod Anderson says:

    Gustavus could not be more proud of any other high achievement! Great speakers are great leaders and great leaders are great speakers!!! You are way ahead of the pack!!

    Congratulations…and God Bless Too!!!!

    Pastor Rod
    Gustavus Interim Sr. Chaplain