Forensics places 15th at nationals; Banks, Quiroz named All-Americans

Hastings College forensics team
The Hastings College Forensics team at AFA-NST.

The Hastings College Forensics team finished 15th in the nation at the American Forensics Association’s National Speech Tournament (AFA-NST), which was held April 6-8 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The team also had two members, Ally Banks and Citlaly Quiroz, named All-Americans.

CitlalyQuiroz 24
Citlaly Quiroz
AllyBanks 24
Ally Banks

Banks and Quiroz were honored at the national tournament’s opening assembly on April 5. Every year, 12-16 students nationally are named to the AFA All-American team. Members are selected based on scholastic achievement, AFA-NST forensic participation and community service.

“To be named an AFA-NST All-American is the highest honor a forensics competitor can achieve. I had the pleasure of being a part of the national selection committee this year and this year’s All-American team is composed of 16 of the most accomplished and inspiring young people in the country who will undoubtedly go on to transform their communities for the better after graduation,” said Jordan Johnson, director of forensics. “Ally and Citlaly are so deserving of this prestigious award. It’s incredible to see the hard work of two very humble women recognized on a national stage.”

Since the award was created in 2001, Hastings College Forensics has had the most forensics All-Americans all-time out of any AFA school in the country. Hastings College has had 23 All-Americans, the University of Alabama has had 19, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln has had 18 and the University of Texas at Austin and George Mason University each have had 16.

As for the team results, this is the eighth year in a row the team has finished in the top 15.

Banks, a senior from Shawnee, Kansas, advanced to national finals, earning 4th place out of 91 competitors in program oral interpretation, and quarterfinals in informative speaking.

Quiroz, a senior from Fort Morgan, Colorado, advanced to quarterfinals in poetry interpretation and quarterfinals in duo interpretation with Bri Narik.

Tymia Thompson, a junior from Nassau, The Bahamas, advanced to quarterfinals in program oral interpretation.

Bri Narick, a first-year student from Bellevue, Nebraska, advanced to quarterfinals in duo interpretation with Quiroz.

Also representing Hastings College Forensics were:

  • Ally Goad, a first-year student, from Gothenburg, Nebraska.
  • Emma Kellick, a senior from Casper, Wyoming.
  • Hailey Gifford, a first-year, from Eagle, Colorado.
  • Lilac Ramsey, a first-year, from Wilson, North Carolina.
  • Matthew Houlihan, a first-year from Omaha, Nebraska.
  • Meg Dedic, a first-year from Auburn, Nebraska.

The Hastings College Forensics team continues a long-running tradition of national competitive success, placing in the top 20 at AFA-NST for the majority of the past 20 years. Most recently, Hastings College placed 14th at the 2023 AFA-NST.

Hastings College is a four-year residential college that focuses on student academic and extracurricular achievement. Discover more at

Share this post