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Sophomore history major Paul Kritzler’s semifinalist award in Lincoln Douglas debate paced a group of four Lafayette students competing in an 18-team forensics tournament at New York University last weekend.

While Kritzler’s performance placed him as one of the top four competitors in debate, Forensics Society teammate Erik Heins, a sophomore from Moriches, N.Y., took fourth place in impromptu speech and sixth place in extemporaneous speech. Heins and first-year students Benjamin Berlow (Palmerton, Pa.) and Sandra Welch (Philadelphia, Pa.) also competed in Lincoln Douglas debate.

The contingent was accompanied by debate coach Jon Honiball and forensics director Scott Placke.

“I am very proud of Paul,” says Honiball. “He is extremely dedicated to debate and to the team. He deserved his award.”

The prior weekend, Jeremy Bennett, a sophomore neuroscience major from Riverside, Pa., and Kritzler (Monkton, Md.) traveled to St. Anselm’s College in Manchester, N.H., to compete in Lincoln Douglas debate, finishing 17 and 18, respectively, in the 14-team field.

That same weekend, Forensics Society finished third among 26 teams at the Bloomsburg Mad Hatter Tournament in Bloomsburg, Pa. Heins won the blue ribbon in impromptu speech, while junior Michael Lestingi, a mechanical engineering major from Centerville, Ohio, earned first place in Lincoln Douglas debate for the second straight year, and a second place finish in impromptu speech. Berlow teamed up with junior Rachel Korpanty, a history major from Summerville, S.C., for a second place finish in dramatic duo. Korpanty also took fourth in after dinner speaking and original poetry

Forensics Society’s next competition will be at the University of Rhode Island Saturday, Dec. 7.

The team got off to a strong start this season as a group of nine first-year students earned the top three places in extemporaneous speech, scored the top two honors in impromptu speech, and won several other commendations in a 17-team field at the Bloomsburg Novice Tournament Sept. 28. The team went on to place third at the West Chester Rose Bowl Tournament in October.

Forensics Society scored its highest finish ever at the Pennsylvania State Individual Events Association Championships Feb. 16-17 last school year and continued its remarkable ascent with a second-place finish at the Collegiate Forensics Association Tournament March 2-3 in Ocean City, Md. Nine students competed in 17 speech events and eight debate events at the National Forensics Association Championship Tournament April 18-22 at Berry College in Mount Berry, Ga.

Categorized in: Academic News