Forensics Team Places 6th at National Tournament

Posted on April 8th, 2014 by

The Gustavus forensics team and their awards at this year's AFA-NIET.

The Gustavus forensics team and their awards at this year’s AFA-NIET.

The Gustavus Adolphus College forensics team earned its best ever finish at the American Forensic Association’s National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET), when it placed sixth in the Team Sweepstakes on Monday, April 7.

The team earned 261 points during the three-day tournament, which took place at Arizona State University in Tempe. This is the fifth straight year that the team has finished in the top 10 at the AFA-NIET after placing eighth in 2013, ninth in 2012, and back-to-back 10th place finishes in 2010 and 2011. Western Kentucky University took first place in the Team Sweepstakes, with Bradley University, University of Texas at Austin, Illinois State University, and George Mason University rounding out the top five.

Gustavus had three competitors place in the top 20 of the Individual Sweepstakes. Senior Shelby Wilds placed ninth in the individual standings, while senior Kelsey Abele and junior Karin Nordin finished in a tie for 16th place.

Wilds placed second out of 138 competitors in the Informative Speaking category. She also advanced to the semifinals in Communication Analysis and the quarterfinals in both Persuasive Speaking and After Dinner Speaking. Abele placed second out of 126 competitors in Communication Analysis and took fifth place in Prose Interpretation. Nordin placed fourth out of 137 competitors in Persuasive Speaking, took sixth place in Poetry Interpretation, and advanced to the quarterfinals in Dramatic Interpretation.

Senior Mariecus Jarvis placed third in Persuasive Speaking. Junior Brittany Knutson was a semifinalist in Communication Analysis and a quarterfinalist in both Informative and Persuasive Speaking. Junior Kate Spaulding was a quarterfinalist in Impromptu Speaking, sophomore Kari Roll was a quarterfinalist in After Dinner Speaking, and sophomore Emily Meyer was a quarterfinalist in Persuasive Speaking.

Typically, more than 130 individuals compete in each event with only 24 advancing to the quarterfinal round, 12 to the semifinal round, and six to the final round. Other team members who competed at the AFA-NIET included senior Sonja Johnson, sophomore Wilson Fields, and first-year students Kellen Andersen, Lizzie Hjelle, and Chelsie Othoudt.

The full results from the 2014 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


One Comment

  1. Kathi Tunheim says:

    This is an absolutely outstanding finish! Congratulations to the entire team and coaches. Well done.