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Forensics Society took fifth place among 17 undergraduate schools last weekend at a tournament hosted by Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

Michael Lestingi ’04 of Centerville, Ohio, who is pursuing a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering and a bachelor of arts degree with majors in International Affairs and Russian & East European Studies, earned second place in after-dinner speaking. He also competed in both impromptu and informative speaking.

“I was excited to see the maturity and preparedness of our younger team members,” says Lestingi. “Their potential will ensure many more successful tournaments in the future.”

Rachel Korpanty ’03, a history major from Summerville, S.C., took third place in after-dinner speaking and fourth place in dramatic interpretation. She also competed in dramatic duo with Benjamin Berlow ’06 of Palmerton, Pa., and in prose reading.

Joe Borland ’06 of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., finished third in extemporaneous speaking. He also competed in both impromptu and persuasive speaking.

“The other competitors in the final round of extemporaneous were very good,” says Borland. “I, however, felt like I knew what I was doing. I was prepared for the tournament, so I felt comfortable when I needed to perform.”

Colby Block ’06 of Boca Raton, Fla., earned fourth place in poetry reading. She also competed in dramatic interpretation, impromptu speaking, and prose reading.

In addition to dramatic duo with Korpanty, Berlow competed in informative speaking and poetry reading.

Borland and Block were the top novices in extemporaneous speaking and poetry reading, respectively.

“This tournament offered some of the best competition on the East Coast,” says Scott Placke, director of forensics, who accompanied the team. “It was a very challenging tournament.”

Forensics Society will compete again Feb. 15-16 in Pennsylvania State Forensics Association’s annual championship at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Two weekends ago, the team took first place in Lincoln Douglas debate within a field of more than 25 schools at a forensics tournament hosted by Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind. Some of the top schools and competitors in the nation participated in the tournament.

Sophomore Erik Heins established himself as one of the nation’s best college competitors in impromptu speech at a major tournament hosted by University of Texas-Austin Jan. 11-12. Competing in a field of 36 schools, Heins made it to the semifinal round of 12 students in impromptu speech. He finished just one spot shy of reaching the finals.

Forensics Society 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 last year’s Pennsylvania State Individual Events Association Championships and continued its remarkable ascent with 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