Forensics Team Wins Fourth Straight State Championship

Posted on February 23rd, 2015 by

Members of the Gustavus forensics team pose with their hardware after the MCFA State Tournament on Feb. 22.

Members of the Gustavus forensics team pose with their hardware after the MCFA State Tournament on Feb. 22.

For the fourth straight year and for the seventh time in the last eight years, the Gustavus Adolphus College forensics team won the Minnesota Collegiate Forensics Association State Tournament on Feb. 21-22 at Southwest State University. The Gusties won the team sweepstakes with 543 points, while Concordia College in Moorhead took second place with 306 points.

“I am proud of this team’s commitment to excellence and their commitment to the team concept. Our success can be attributed to placing the team ahead of the individual. To see them working together crafting arguments, selecting the most compelling language, identifying the best evidence, isolating poetic elements, adding humor, internalizing literature, and discovering delivery elements to give each speech impact has been a pleasure to watch,” said Kristofer Kracht, Director of the Gustavus Forensics Program. “They are committed to and enjoy the process required of a champion, a lesson that will serve them well in life. They truly enjoy every opportunity to share their message.”

Gustavus students took first place in eight of the 12 individual events, while senior Karin Nordin had a hand in five of those individual championships. Nordin placed first in Dramatic Interpretation, Impromptu Speaking, Oratory, and Prose Interpretation. She also combined with teammate Wilson Fields to take first place in the Duo Interpretation category.

First year student Andrew Boge also had a strong tournament as he placed first in Communication Analysis, second in Extemporaneous Speaking, and fourth in Program Oral Interpretation.

First year student Caleb Merritt took first place in the Slam Poetry event—a new and experimental event during this year’s state tournament. Merritt added a third place finish in Program Oral Interpretation.

Gustavus's individual state champions: Alekhya Tallapaka '18, Andrew Boge '18, Karin Nordin '15, Wilson Fields '16, Caleb Merritt '18.

Gustavus’s individual state champions: Alekhya Tallapaka ’18, Andrew Boge ’18, Karin Nordin ’15, Wilson Fields ’16, Caleb Merritt ’18.

First year student Alekhya Tallapaka won Gustavus’s other individual championship in the After Dinner Speaking category.

Senior Brittany Knutson was a big factor in the team’s success as she placed in the top six in five different events. Knutson picked up a pair of third place finishes in both Impromptu Speaking and Oratory. She placed fourth in both Extemporaneous Speaking and Informative Speaking and added a sixth place finish in After Dinner Speaking.

Junior Kari Roll placed second in After Dinner Speaking and fourth in Impromptu Speaking. Junior Emily Meyer took second in Oratory, while first year student Clay Sletta placed second in Slam Poetry.

Fields placed third in Slam Poetry and added a sixth place finish in Poetry Interpretation. In the Duo Interpretation event, first year students Aurora Vautrin and Madison Klein placed fourth, while first year students Kenzie Shofner and Noelle Anderson placed fifth.

Other top performances included sophomore Lizzie Hjelle’s fourth place finish in Slam Poetry, sophomore Kellen Andersen’s fifth place finish in Communication Analysis, first year student Sarah Peterson’s fifth place finish in Program Oral Interpretation, Vautrin’s sixth place finish in Informative Speaking, and Anderson’s sixth place finish in Prose Interpretation.

As a result of Nordin and Meyer placing first and second in the Oratory category, they will represent the state of Minnesota at the Interstate Oratorical Association National Contest—the oldest and most prestigious collegiate oratory competition in the United States. That contest will take place April 24-25 at Berry College in Rome, Georgia. This year marks the third time (2007, 2010) that Gustavus students have earned both slots from the state of Minnesota. Knutson, as a result of her third place finish in the Oratory category, is the first alternate.

The team will now turn its attention to the American Forensic Association’s National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET), which will take place at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, on April 3-6. The Gustavus team will be looking to build off its sixth place finish at last year’s AFA-NIET, which is the highest the program has ever finished at the national tournament.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


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