Forensics team brings home hardware, finishes second at state tournament

The Hastings College forensics team competed in-person at the Nebraska Intercollegiate Forensics Tournament (NIFA) last week, finishing second overall in team sweepstakes for the second year in a row, and senior Nikki deSeriere finishing first in the individual sweepstakes.

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Hastings College forensics team members and the hardware they earned at the NIFA last week. From left, Citlaly Quiroz, Emma Kellick, Ally Banks, Nikki deSeriere and Kianté Stuart.

deSeriere was named the Kevin Heineman Pentathlon Champion, which recognizes the highest-scoring speaker at the tournament. deSeriere also won the Spirit of NIFA award, which celebrates two students who are nominated by other teams as exemplars in the community.

Senior Kianté Stuart qualified for the Interstate Oratory Competition, which is the oldest speaking contest in the nation, after winning oratory for the day. She will compete at the Interstate Oratory Competition in Austin, Texas in April.

“There is a high level of competition at this tournament, and we were thrilled to finish second in the team sweepstakes,” said Jordan Johnson, director of forensics. “The honors Nikki received are so well deserved. She was nominated for the Spirit of NIFA award by two teams who noted her genuine efforts to build community and form connections with her peers. We’re also looking forward to Kianté going to the Interstate Oratory competition, and the whole team going to our national tournament this spring.”

Seven schools competed in the tournament, including Doane University, Midland University, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Wayne State University and the host, Concordia University.

forensicsThe results from the past weekend are below:

  • Ally Banks, a junior from Shawnee, Kansas, placed first in After Dinner Speaking, first in Duo Interpretation with partner Nikki deSeriere, second in Prose Interpretation, and third in Program Oral Interpretation.
  • Citlaly Quiroz, a junior from Fort Morgan, Colorado, placed second in individual sweepstakes, second in Poetry Interpretation, second in Program Oral Interpretation, second in Duo Interpretation with partner Emma Kellick and third in Dramatic Interpretation.
  • Emma Kellick, a junior from Casper, Wyoming, placed second in Duo Interpretation with partner Citlaly Quiroz, sixth in Impromptu Speaking and sixth in After Dinner Speaking.
  • Kianté Stuart, a senior from Nassau, The Bahamas, placed first in Interstate Oratory.
  • Nikki deSeriere, a senior from Westminster, Colorado, placed first in individual sweepstakes, first in Duo Interpretation with partner Ally Banks, first in Poetry Interpretation, second in Dramatic Interpretation, fourth in Program Oral Interpretation fifth in Impromptu Speaking and fifth in Prose Interpretation.

The Hastings College forensics team continues a long-running tradition of national competitive success, placing in the top 20 at the American Forensics Association National Speech Tournament (AFA-NST) for many of the past 10 years. Most recently, Hastings College placed 11th at AFA-NST 2022.

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