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The Lafayette Forensics Team continued its breakout season, finishing fourth among 22 teams in Bloomsburg University’s Mad Hatter Tournament Nov. 9-10.

For the second tournament in a row, Michael Lestingi ’04, an intended mechanical engineering major from Tallmadge, Ohio, took first place in impromptu speaking. In addition, he won Lincoln-Douglas debate and was a semifinalist in prose reading. Lestingi also competed in extemporaneous speaking.

For the third consecutive tournament, Jennifer Rusak ’04, an intended neuroscience major from Ashley, Pa., won first place in persuasive speech. She was a quarterfinalist in Lincoln-Douglas debate and competed in informative speech.

“I think our performance was outstanding,” she says. “I am very proud of all my team members. We rocked the forensics world! And we’ll do it time and time again.”

Rachel Korpanty ’04 of Summerville, S.C., earned third place finishes in original poetry and poetry reading, as well as fifth place in after dinner speaking. These accomplishments and her performances in program oral interpretation and prose reading gave Korpanty fifth place in pentathalon, a category for those competing in five or more events.

Erik Heins ’05 of Center Moriches, N.Y., joined Korpanty as a quarterfinalist in Lincoln-Douglas debate and competed in extemporaneous speaking and impromptu speaking.

“Forensics is a fun, educational experience,” he says. “I am glad I joined the team. Even though I prefer impromptu and debate, all the events require dedication and hard work, things our team consistently shows.”

Other Lafayette competitors included: Amy Carson ’02, a psychology major from Pennington, N.J., Lincoln-Douglas debate, persuasive speech, and prose reading; Kenya Flash ‘03, a government and law major from Coopersburg, Pa., poetry reading and prose reading; David Gross, ‘02, an English major from Willow Grove, Pa., Lincoln-Douglas debate and prose reading; Rory Hart ’04, an English major from Edison, N.J., Lincoln-Douglas debate; and Emily Murphy ’03, a philosophy major from Center Valley, Pa., prose reading.

“I am already looking forward to the next tournament,” says Flash. “The interaction with other teams is great. I enjoy meeting people from other schools and the interaction with people from Lafayette.”

“I am very excited about our team and very proud,” adds Scott Placke, individual events coach. “Last year we got out there and learned a great deal. This year we are applying that knowledge to create a finely tuned forensics machine. Both the debate and individual events sides are critical to that machine. We could not be enjoying this success if we were missing either side of the team.”

Placke and Jon Honiball, Lincoln-Douglas debate coach, accompanied the team at Bloomsburg. The director of forensics is Bruce Murphy, Fred Morgan Kirby Professor of Civil Rights.

Previous 2001-02 Reports:

Lafayette Forensics Team Earns First Tournament Victory at St. Anselm College Jack Lynch Tournament

Jennifer Rusak ’04 and Michael Lestingi ’04 Pace Forensics Team at Shepherd College Tournament

Tournaments at West Chester University, Bloomsburg University, and Towson University

Categorized in: Academic News