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First-year student Michael Lestingi of Tallmadge, Ohio, helped lead the Lafayette Forensics Society to a fourth-place team sweepstakes finish in a tournament at Suffolk University, Boston, Oct. 28-29 and a fifth-place finish in a tourney at St. Anselm’s College, Manchester, N.H., Nov. 4.

Lestingi placed third in extemporaneous speaking at Suffolk and second in Lincoln-Douglas debate and fifth in impromptu speaking at St. Anselm’s.

The performances followed an impressive start for Lestingi in tournaments at Bloomsburg University (Sept. 30), where he placed second in extemporaneous speaking and third in impromptu speaking in his first collegiate competition, and West Chester University (Oct. 14-15), where he took top novice honors in impromptu speaking and placed second in Lincoln-Douglas debate.

At Suffolk, Brandt Siegel, a sophomore from Marysville, Ohio, placed fourth in Impromptu Speaking and made the semi-final round in Lincoln-Douglas debate. Jennifer Rusak, a first-year student from Ashley, Pa., advanced to the quarter-finals in Lincoln Douglas debate.

Lestingi, Siegel, and Rusak were Lafayette’s only competitors in the 16-team tournament.

At the St. Anselm’s tourney, where 12 schools competed, sophomores Alison Hindenlang of Randolph, N.J., and Emily Murphy of Center Valley, Pa., teamed up to take fourth place in dramatic duo, while Jessica Held, a sophomore from Pottstown, Pa., finished fifth in informative speaking. Amy Carson, a junior from Pennington, N.J., was sixth in prose. Jim Azarello, a sophomore from Stroudsburg, Pa., and Rachel Korpanty of Summerville, S.C. took sixth in dramatic duo.

Lafayette’s director of forensics is Bruce Allen Murphy, Fred Morgan Kirby Professor of Civil Rights.

Joining the team this year as director of individual events is Scott Placke, who holds a master’s degree in communications from Purdue University. Among Placke’s areas of special interest is the work of the late American literary critic Kenneth Burke, known for his studies of the relationships between language, literature, culture, and power.

Also joining this year as debate coach is John Honiball, a former debater at St. Anselm’s College.

Categorized in: Academic News