Forensics team competes in two tournaments, qualifies first events to nationals

The Hastings College Forensics team divided up to compete in two different formatted tournaments over the weekend. Part of the team competed at the University of Alabama asynchronously while others performed synchronously for the Valley Forensics League hosted by South Dakota State University.

The team qualified its first events for the American Forensics Association National Speech Tournament (AFA-NST), which will be held virtually in April. Senior Isaabella Munoz from Worland, Wyoming, and Brendan Kachnowski, a junior from Rock Springs, Wyoming, qualified Duo Interpretation, and first-year student Jeremiah Cox from Chaska, Minnesota, qualified Persuasive Speaking.

The team also took first in team sweepstakes at the Valley Forensics League.

The results from last weekend are below.

Valley Forensics League Results

October 3, 2020

  • Victoria Caplinger, a first-year student from Effingham, Kansas, placed fourth in Extemporaneous Speaking and third in Program Oral Interpretation.
  • Jeremiah Cox, a first-year student from Chaska, Minnesota, placed third in Extemporaneous Speaking and first in Persuasive Speaking.
  • Jacob Stulken, a first-year student from Doniphan, Nebraska, placed third in After Dinner Speaking and fifth in Prose Interpretation.
  • Nikki DeSeriere, a sophomore from Westminster, Colorado, placed second in Duo Interpretation with senior Courtney Hanson, fifth in Impromptu Speaking and third in Prose Interpretation.
  • Kiante Stuart, a sophomore from Nassau, The Bahamas, placed fourth in Persuasive Speaking.
  • Sam Johnson, a junior from Hastings, Nebraska, placed third in Impromptu Speaking and second in Informative Speaking.
  • Brendan Kachnowski, a junior from Rock Springs, Wyoming, placed first in Duo Interpretation with senior Isaabella Munoz, and second in Program Oral Interpretation.
  • Courtney Hanson, a senior from Brookings, South Dakota, placed first in After Dinner Speaking, fourth in Communication Analysis, and second in Duo Interpretation with sophomore Nikki DeSeriere.
  • Isaabella Munoz, a senior from Worland, Wyoming, placed first in Duo Interpretation with junior Brendan Kachnowski, third in Informative Speaking and first in Poetry Interpretation.

Hastings College took first in team sweepstakes for the day.

University of Alabama Results

October 4, 2020

  • Brooklyn Elwood, a first-year student from Sutherland, Nebraska, received Top Novice in After Dinner Speaking.
  • Mae Heater, a first-year student from Bennington, Nebraska, received Top Novice in Poetry Interpretation.
  • Natalie Watson, a sophomore from Franklin, Tennessee, placed sixth in After Dinner Speaking.
  • Samantha Burke, a senior from Denver, Colorado, placed fifth in Poetry Interpretation. She also placed fifth in Individual Sweepstakes.

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 9th at AFA-NST 2019.

Hastings College is Nebraska’s premier private college. A four-year residential college that focuses on student academic and extracurricular achievement, Hastings’ student-centered initiatives include providing books, an iPad and a two-week study away experience at no additional cost. A block-style semester schedule allows professors and students to focus on fewer classes at a time and promotes hands-on experiences. Discover more at

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