Forensics places fourth: Speech team excels at American Forensic Association National Tournament

by   Posted on April 12th, 2010 in Uncategorized

By Evan Benton, Staff Writer

Last Sunday the George Mason University Forensics team came in fourth place out of over 100 collegiate teams nationwide at the National Forensics Tournament in Eau Claire, W.I., and managed to make a little history along the way.

Illinois State University placed third above Mason, with perennial antagonist Western Kentucky University taking second and Bradley University the overall champion.

But for the first time in the history of the American Forensics Association Individual Events Tournament, the top four placements in a single event were taken by one school alone. That school? Mason.

Four Mason students, two of whom were new members of the vaunted team, took places one through four in the nation in Extemporaneous Speaking.

Sophomore Will Bellows, a government and international politics major, was National Champion.

Along with Bellows, freshman undeclared major Brennan Morris took second place, and freshman government and international politics majors Billy Strong and Rob Warchol finished the sweep with third and fourth place respectively.

“[We as a team] are so proud of the team’s finish,” said co-captain Quincey Smith, junior studying public relations and legal studies. “Especially with the impressive showing by our extemporaneous speakers.”

Smith, along with junior anthropology major Katie Miller, made the quarterfinals in Duo Interpretation. Miller also reached the quarters in her specialty field, Poetry Interpretation.

Other finalists included Colston Reid, senior and co-captain of the team receiving fourth in Impromptu Speaking, sophomore Aaron Boudreaux and freshman Michael Lynch, who finished third in Duo Interpretation, and senior David Tuck who finished third in Program Oral Interpretation. Freshman Tyler Dailey and senior Jennifer Torres both reached the semifinals in Prose Interpretation as well as Junior Pat Mahoney in Informative Speaking and sophomore Aaron Boudreaux in After Dinner Speaking.

National Extemporaneous Speaking Champion Will Bellows also reached the semifinals in Impromptu Speaking.
“Seeing our younger members do so well was incredible,” said Smith. “It makes me excited for the upcoming future of this team . . .”

This makes for the team’s third straight year in the top five nationally, a feat which alone solidifies their standing as our university’s most successful competitive team, academic or athletic.

With its new crop of champions, the Mason Forensics team hopes to continue its legacy of excellence well into the future, looking to hoist the first place trophy for the first time since the glory days of 1979.

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