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The Lafayette Forensics Society scored its highest finish ever at the Pennsylvania State Individual Events Association Championships Feb. 16-17 at West Chester University and continues preparing to compete in the National Forensics Association Championship Tournament in April.

Sophomores Rachel Korpanty of Summerville, S.C., and Jennifer Rusak of Ashley, Pa., and senior Amy Carson of Pennington, N.J., paced Lafayette to fourth place in a field of nine schools in the state contest.

Individually, Korpanty placed second in after-dinner speaking and fourth in poetry reading. She teamed with Erik Heins ’05 of Center Moriches, N.Y., to place third in dramatic duo. She also competed in prose reading and teamed with Carson, a psychology major, in dramatic duo.

“I am very pleased with our performance,” Korpanty says. “We’ve proven to the ‘big schools’ in Pennsylvania that we are here to stay. I know that next year we will definitely have a chance at becoming state champions. For a fledgling team, we have come an amazing distance.”

Rusak, a neuroscience major, placed fourth in persuasion and fifth in rhetorical criticism and was a semifinalist in Lincoln Douglas debate. She also competed in informative speech.

Carson took sixth-place in prose reading and teamed with David Gross ’02, an English major from Willow Grove, Pa., to place seventh in dramatic duo. In addition she competed in Lincoln Douglas debate and persuasion. Gross also participated in prose reading.

In addition to collaborating with Korpanty, Heins competed in extemporaneous speaking, impromptu speaking, and Lincoln Douglas debate. At the team’s prior competition at Simmons College in Boston, Heins and Korpanty took fifth place in dramatic duo among a field of 18 schools.

In all, eight Lafayette students competed in a total of 25 events.

Jeremy Bennett ’05 of Riverside, Pa., who intends to major in neuroscience, was a quarterfinalist in Lincoln Douglas debate and competed in extemporaneous speaking.

Kenya Flash ’03, a government and law major from Coopersburg, Pa., competed in informative speech, poetry reading, and prose reading.

Pavlos Lykos ’05 of Easton, Pa., competed in informative speech.

“Each person participates in a tournament as an individual,” notes Scott Placke, individual events coach, “but the end of the day, at the awards ceremony, everything is about the team as a whole – how we did as a group. I love that feeling of unity.”

Jon Honiball is Lafayette’s debate coach and Bruce Allen Murphy, Fred Morgan Kirby Professor of Civil Rights, is director of forensics.

The next tournament for the Forensics Society will be in two weeks in Ocean City, Md., as the team continues to prepare for the National Forensics Association Championship Tournament April 18-22 at Berry College, Rome, Georgia.

Categorized in: Academic News