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Forensics Society traveled to three tournaments in February and Lafayette competitors produced strong finishes at all events.

The team competed in the Pennsylvania Forensic Association’s annual championship tournament Feb. 24-25 at Lock Haven University, in which nine schools competed. It attended the “Virginia is for Lovers” Tournament at George Mason University Feb. 17, where 22 schools from all over the country were in attendance. The team also took part in Suffolk University’s annual Presidential Love Swing Tournament Feb. 10-11, along with 12 other college and university teams.

At the Pennsylvania Forensic Association’s annual championship tournament, the team placed third overall.

Marquis Scholar and computer science major Mark Kokoska ’08 (Bloomsburg, Pa.) came in first in extemporaneous speech and Lincoln Douglas debate, second in after dinner speaking, fourth in prose speech, and sixth in impromptu speech. Trustee Scholar and mathematics-economics major Beth Wehler ’09 (Gettyburg, Pa.) was a semi-finalist in Lincoln Douglas debate and placed sixth in both persuasive speech and program oral interpretation. Marquis Scholar and history and government & law double major Christian Dato ’07 (Poway, Calif.) placed fourth in impromptu speech and advanced to the semifinals in Lincoln Douglas debate. Teevrat Garg ’10 (Haryana, India) placed third in impromptu speech. English major and Marquis Scholar Amy Solomito ’09 (Coopersburg, Pa.) placed third in rhetorical criticism and fourth in persuasive speech.

Also competing were Marquis Scholar Sam Derrick ’10 (Etters, Pa.), mathematics major Joe Dudek ’09 (Honeoye Falls, N.Y.), Jordan Kaplan ’10 (Livingston, N.J.), Joash Mudalige ’10 (Homagama, Sri Lanka), Anthony Romanoski ’10 (Etters, Pa.), and Kyle DeCant ’10 (Orange, Conn.).

Kokoska emphasizes the team spirit that has carried Forensics Society to its success this season.

“I, as always, enjoy the camaraderie that is associated with the event of forensics,” he says. “I owe much of my success this weekend to my fellow teammates, and perhaps more importantly, to Scott and John who both have put in a lot of work to make the team as successful as it is.”

Scott Placke, director of forensics, and John Boyer, debate coach, accompanied the team to the event.

At the “Virginia is for Lovers” Tournament, history major Bill O’Brien ’07 (Elmont, N.Y.) placed first in informative speech. DeCant was a semi-finalist in impromptu speech, and Garg placed second in impromptu speech.

Aside from his win, O’Brien was pleased to be in the company of his competitors.

“It was an honor to do so well this weekend. There were a lot of great competitors out there who I look up to. It was a great thing to just compete with them,” he says.

The team placed third overall on the first day of competition at Suffolk University’s annual Presidential Love Swing Tournament and took first on the second day.

Dudek, Solomito, and O’Brien led the team on the first day of competition with first place finishes in impromptu speech, informative speech, and rhetorical criticism respectively. Dudek also placed fifth in persuasive speech and was a semi-finalist in debate. Solomito placed fourth in poetry reading and prose reading and fifth in dramatic duo with O’Brien. O’Brien also placed third in after dinner speaking and fourth in informative speech.

Wehler placed third in persuasive speech, fourth in extemporaneous speech, and fifth in program oral interpretation. Romanoski placed fifth in after dinner speaking. DeCant placed sixth in rhetorical criticism, and Ryan Benjamin ’10 (Bronx, N.Y.) was a quarterfinalist in debate.

“I am incredibly proud of everyone’s performance this weekend,” says Solomito. “The novices continue to amaze me, and I look forward to competing with them for the next two years. Everyone on the team performed at or exceeded their potential, and that showed the second day when we took home first place.”

Dudekled the team on the second day with first-place finishes in Lincoln Douglas debate and persuasive speech. O’Brien placed first in rhetorical criticism, second in after dinner speaking and dramatic duo with Solomito, and fourth in informative speech. Solomito also placed third in informative speech and sixth in prose reading.

Garg placed fourth in extemporaneous speech and fifth in rhetorical criticism. Romanoskiplaced fourth in after dinner speaking and fifth in dramatic duo with Derrick. Derrick also placed fifth in impromptu speech. Wehlerwas a semi-finalist in debate, while Benjaminadvanced to the quarterfinals.

The team will travel to Pi Kappa Delta nationals held at Central Michigan University this weekend. Pi Kappa Delta is the national forensics honor society.

Forensics Society members are active participants in other campus activities as well.

Dato is a member of Haven, College Democrats, Social Gaming Network, and Kirby Government and Law Society. He is a resident adviser, and is conducting honors thesis research.

Garg is a member of International Students Association, Foundation for the Awareness and Alleviation of Poverty, International Affairs Club, and Economics Club.

Dudek is vice president of Haven, treasurer of Played Out, and a member of Jazz Combo.

Kaplan is a member of the sports marketing club, Hillel Society, and jazz combo.

O’Brien is a tour guide for the admissions office and a member of Newman Association.

Kokoska is a member of Haven and Table Tennis Club.

Wehler is president of Haven and a member of College Orchestra.

Derrick is a member of Economics Club and Table Tennis Club.

DeCant is vice president of Pards to People and a member of the Philosophy Club.

Romanoski is a member of Volleyball Club.

Solomito is on the crew team.

Previous tournament reports:

January Tournaments

Ohio State University Tournament (Dec. 1-2)

New York University’s Annual ‘Skyline’ Tournament (Nov. 11-12)

Cedar Crest Tournament (Oct. 21-22)

West Chester Tournament of Roses (Oct. 14-15)

Lafayette College Tournament (Oct. 7-8)

Categorized in: Academic News