The Muskingum University Forensics Team finished its varsity season as the President's Division Team Sweepstakes Champion, for the second year in a row, at the Ohio Forensics Association (OFA) State Varsity Championship. The event was hosted at Akron University on Feb. 15 and Feb. 14. The team is now ranked first in the President's Division in the state of Ohio.
“This team has talent and works hard,” said Rachel Pollock, director of forensics and assistant professor of communication at Muskingum. “I see their talent intersect with their vocational direction and as a vehicle to meet challenges they currently face in their life.”
In the category of Dramatic Duo, David McDonald of Mount Vernon and Alison Reichard of Reynoldsburg took home third place, and Elizabeth Nease of Pomeroy and Samantha Stafford of Gahanna placed fifth.
In the category of Festival Storytelling, Virginia Holmes of Zanesville placed fourth, while Caleb Owens of Maineville placed sixth. Nease placed sixth in Informative Speaking, and Reichard notched sixth place in Persuasion.
Students compete individually in their respective categories, but Holmes felt each tournament was a collaborative effort.
“We all contribute together,” said Holmes. “It’s an attitude that bonds us together and we all welcomed it rather than an individual attitude.”
In Novice competition, Nease is the 2019 OFA Novice State Champion in Informative Speaking, and she and Stafford placed second in Dramatic Duo. The OFA State Novice Tournament was held at Ohio University.
The Forensics Team also competed on a regional scale at the "William W. Neher Bulldog Battle," hosted by Butler University in January. McDonald placed third in Poetry Slam and fifth in Impromptu. McDonald and Reichard notched seventh place in Dramatic Duo.
The next competition for the Forensics Team will be at the Novice Nationals held March 8 to 10 at Bowling Green State University. In addition, Muskingum will compete at a Spanish-speaking debate event, "Invitacion de Pantera" at Morton College in April, for the first time.