Forensics team wins big at world tournament: Group takes highest honors at tourny for second year in a row

by   Posted on March 25th, 2010 in Uncategorized

By Evan Benton, Staff Writer

The George Mason University Forensics team traveled to Germany last week to take part in the International Forensic Association tournament, held at the Park Iron Hotel in downtown Berlin.

In addition to winning the team sweepstakes award (effectively the championship) for the second straight year, Mason also had five world champions: Samantha Sapienza for Informative Speaking, Katie Miller for Poetry, Jen Torres and Tyler Dailey for Duo Interpretation, Danielle Ohrenberger for Prose and Mickey Cox for After Dinner Speaking.

The IFA promotes the diversity of forensic competition in countries around the world, where up to 35 colleges and universities attend and compete.

Last year’s IFA tournament was held in Montreal, where the Mason team brought home their first Championship trophy since entering the tournament for the first time in 2008. Basically, this means that the team has swept the only two years they’ve been in the tournament.

For Mason Forensics, this represents one more victory for a team that has produced 35 national champions since 1975, and has a trophy case of more than 14,000 trophies.

“Well the university just continues to be so proud of the forensics group and the job they’re doing representing us as an institution,” said University Press Secretary Dan Walsch. “We’re extremely happy and pleased for them and share in their well deserved joy.”

Following this impressive IFA win in Berlin, the team now prepares for the American Forensics Association’s national tournament next Sunday, where it will compete in the National Individual Events tournament in Eau Clair, Wisconsin against nearly 80 different national colleges.

National champions in 1979 and runners-up in last year’s event in Akron, Ohio (losing to repeat champions Western Kentucky University), Mason seeks to continue its legacy of excellence.

“[The IFA tournament] was like the Olympics — a great opportunity for us to experience different cultures while we competed,” said co-captain Quincey Smith, junior and three-year Forensics veteran.

“But [the AFA] Nationals, to me, are the most competitive, the most important,” he said.

Statistically, the Forensics team is the most successful competitive enterprise in George Mason University’s history, and many find it surprising that more coverage isn’t given, considering its staggering win percentage.

“It doesn’t bother us as a team,” said Katie Miller, junior anthropology major and team secretary. “We feel very connected to the school [and] appreciated.”
Miller was the IFA champion for poetry interpretation, a ten-minute performance combining several themes set around a dramatic structure. The majority of her performance centered around slam poetry.

The team will host its annual “Night of Stars” event on Tues., March 23.

The event will show highlights from six performances and will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Dewberry Hall.

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