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First-year student Michael Lestingi of Tallmadge, Ohio, helped lead the Lafayette Forensics Society to its best finish ever at the Pennsylvania State Individual Events Association Championships Feb. 17-18 at Bloomsburg University.

Lafayette took fifth place in the Open Division Team Sweepstakes.

Lafayette’s director of forensics, Bruce Allen Murphy, the Fred Morgan Kirby Professor of Civil Rights, says, “Appearing in state championship for only the third year, team members garnered far more final-round appearances in this single tournament than the team has achieved in this tournament in its entire history. The overall performance was so impressive that the team was a mere 16 points out of second place.

“The team now has so many people qualified in so many events for the National Forensic Association National Championships, April 19-23 at Western Kentucky University, that we’re hoping to achieve our best finish ever in that competition,” Murphy continues.

Lestingi captured first place in impromptu speaking and sixth place in extemporaneous speaking. He advanced to the semi-final round in Lincoln-Douglas debate.

In impromptu speaking, contestants receive short excerpts dealing with items of general interest, political, economic, and social issues. They have a total of seven minutes to divide between preparation and speaking. Students should speak for at least three minutes. All contestants in the same section speak on the same topic.

In extemporaneous speaking, contestants select one of three topics on current national and international events. Contestants have thirty minutes to prepare a five to seven minute speech on the topic selected. Notes are permissible but should be at a minimum.

NFA Lincoln-Douglas is a one-person, persuasive, policy debate on traditional stock issues in which competitors are evaluated on their analysis, use of evidence, and ability to effectively and persuasively organize, deliver, and refute arguments.

Lestingi also teamed with Brandt Siegel ’03 (Marysville, Ohio) to place third in dramatic duo, which is the presentation of a cutting from a play, humorous or serious, involving the portrayal of two or more characters presented by two individuals, without props, for a maximum of 10 minutes.

Jim Azarelo ’03 (Stroudsburg, Pa.) took fourth place in poetry interpretation, a 10-minute presentation of a piece, or multiple pieces, of poetry, while Rachel Korpanty ’04 (Summerville, S.C.) took fourth place in prose interpretation, a 10-minute presentation of a piece of fiction or non-fiction.

Emily Murphy ’03 (Center Valley, Pa.) finished sixth in prose interpretation.

Also competing for Lafayette were Amy Carson ’02 (Pennington, N.J.), Kenya Flash ’03 (Coopersburg, Pa.), Jennifer Rusak (Ashley, Pa.) and Devan Theiler ’04 (Bridgewater, N.J.).

“Other team members did so well in the preliminary rounds that they narrowly missed qualifying for the final rounds,” Murphy says. “Brandt Siegel was the ‘next to qualify’ in three events: impromptu, debate and extemporaneous speaking. Jennifer Rusak narrowly missed qualifying for the semi-finals in debate and scored very well in persuasive speaking. Devon Theiler continued her improvement in informative speaking and other dramatic interpretation events. And Kenya Flash performed very well in poetry, missing qualification for the final round only because her preliminary rounds all involved others who did qualify. All of these results in preliminary events were added to the team’s final standing in the overall Sweepstakes competition.”

Persuasive speaking is a speech to convince, to move to action, or to inspire on a significant issue, delivered from memory. Maximum time is 10 minutes. In informative speaking, contestants deliver an original factual speech on a realistic subject to fulfill a general information need of the audience. Visual aids that supplement or reinforce the message are permitted. The speech must be delivered from memory. Maximum 10 minutes.

Scott Placke is individual events coach and Jonathan Honiball is debate coach. Placke competed for and later coached at Purdue University. Honiball competed for and later coached St. Anselm’s College.

Previous 2000-01 Reports:

First-Year Students Lead Forensics Society in Boston Swing Tournament Feb. 3-4

Forensics Society Places First in Small-College Division at Ohio State Holiday Frolic Tournament Dec. 1-2

Suffolk University, Oct. 28-29, and St. Anselm’s College, Nov. 4

Bloomsburg University, Sept. 30, and West Chester University’s Rose Bowl Tournament Oct. 14-15

Categorized in: Academic News