Forensics team qualifies 11 new events to the national tournament

The Hastings College Forensics team has competed at several tournaments in recent weeks, qualifying 11 new events to the national tournament, which will be online in the spring of 2021.

The team competed asynchronously for the Sharknado 2020 Blowout tournament, hosted by Southeast Arkansas College in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, November 19-22, and asynchronously for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Edna Sorber Tournament, hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in Whitewater, Wisconsin, November 29-December 5.  The group also competed at The Final Stage tournament hosted by Doane University in Crete, Nebraska, and the University of Nebraska–Kearney in Kearney, Nebraska, on December 2-4, and the District IV Fall Qualifier hosted by Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, on December 5.

The National Communication Association 2020 conference also met during November, and the American Forensic Association National Speech Tournament (AFA-NST) committee met to discuss changes for qualifying to the national tournament. This resulted in two more qualifications from the Hastings College team.

Junior Sam Johnson from Hastings, Nebraska, qualified Impromptu Speaking to AFA-NST at the Sharknado tournament. Due to the AFA-NST changes, senior Courtney Hanson from Brookings, South Dakota, and sophomore Nikki DeSeriere from Westminster, Colorado, qualified Duo Interpretation, and first-year student Jacob Stulken from Doniphan, Nebraska, qualified After Dinner Speaking.

At The Final Stage tournament, the team placed second and between the three other tournaments qualified eight new events to the AFA-NST.

Senior Samantha Burke from Denver, Colorado, qualified Extemporaneous Speaking and Informative Speaking; Courtney Hanson qualified Program Oral Interpretation; Sam Johnson qualified Extemporaneous Speaking; junior Brendan Kachnowski from Rock Springs, Wyoming, qualified Persuasive Speaking; Victoria Caplinger, a first-year student from Effingham, Kansas, qualified Program Oral Interpretation; and first-year student Mae Heater from Bennington, Nebraska, qualified After Dinner Speaking and Poetry Interpretation.

Results from previous weeks are below.

Sharknado 2020 Blowout Results
November 22, 2020

  • Sam Johnson, a junior from Hastings, Nebraska, placed third in Extemporaneous Speaking and first in Impromptu Speaking. He also placed third in individual sweepstakes.

The Final Stage Results
December 4, 2020

  • Jeremiah Cox, a first-year student from Chaska, Minnesota, placed third in Extemporaneous Speaking.
  • Jacob Stulken, a first-year student from Doniphan, Nebraska, placed third in After Dinner Speaking and received top novice in Prose Interpretation.
  • Nikki DeSeriere, a sophomore from Westminster, Colorado, placed seventh in Impromptu Speaking.
  • Chloe Carson, a junior from Eagan, Minnesota, placed fifth in Impromptu Speaking.
  • Sam Johnson, a junior from Hastings, Nebraska, placed second in Extemporaneous Speaking.
  • Brendan Kachnowski, a junior from Rock Springs, Wyoming, placed second in Dramatic Interpretation and third in Persuasive Speaking.
  • Samantha Burke, a senior from Denver, Colorado, placed first in Extemporaneous Speaking and fourth in Informative Speaking. She also placed second in individual sweepstakes.
  • Courtney Hanson, a senior from Brookings, South Dakota, placed third in Program Oral Interpretation.

The team placed second in team sweepstakes.

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Edna Sorber Tournament Results
December 4, 2020

  • Jacob Stulken, a first-year student from Doniphan, Nebraska, received top novice in After Dinner Speaking.
  • Brendan Kachnowski, a junior from Rock Springs, Wyoming, placed second in Persuasive Speaking.
  • Courtney Hanson, a senior from Brookings, South Dakota, placed fifth in Program Oral Interpretation.

District IV Fall Qualifier Results
December 5, 2020

  • Victoria Caplinger, a first-year student from Effingham, Kansas, placed fifth in Program Oral Interpretation.
  • Mae Heater, a first-year student from Bennington, Nebraska, placed second in After Dinner Speaking and fourth in Poetry Interpretation.
  • Samantha Burke, a senior from Denver, Colorado, placed first in Informative Speaking.
  • Courtney Hanson, a senior from Brookings, South Dakota, placed third in Program Oral 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 9th at AFA-NST 2019.

Hastings College is 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 hastings.edu.

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