The Hastings College Broncos Forensics team set a team record by earning six state championships at the Nebraska Intercollegiate Forensics Association (NIFA) State Tournament held February 9 in Lincoln, Nebraska.
This was the first year every person on the team had qualified at least one event for the national tournament, which is held in April, before state.
With sophomore Courtney Hanson winning a state championship, junior Alli Kennon winning two state championships and senior Carly Spotts-Falzone winning four state championships (one being shared between Kennon and Spotts-Falzone), the team earned six state championships total, the most in the team’s history.
First-year students also found success at state, with Sam Johnson being named top novice in Communication Analysis and Claire Nelson placing in After Dinner Speaking and Interstate Oratory, in which she was able to perform in front of the entire community of Nebraska collegiate forensics alongside junior Jadah Morrison.
The results from the past weekend are below.
February 9, 2019
- Sam Johnson, a first-year student from Hastings, Nebraska, was named top novice in Communication Analysis.
- Claire Nelson, a first-year student from Bagley, Minnesota, placed sixth in After Dinner Speaking and sixth in Interstate Oratory. She was also named top novice in both.
- Courtney Hanson, a sophomore from Brookings, South Dakota, won the state championship in Prose Interpretation, placed seventh in After Dinner Speaking, sixth in Program Oral Interpretation and sixth in Duo Interpretation with Nathan Navratil, a junior from Lino Lakes, Minnesota.
- Nathan Navratil, a junior from Lino Lakes, Minnesota, placed fourth in Poetry Interpretation and sixth in Duo Interpretation with Courtney Hanson, a sophomore from Brookings, South Dakota. Navratil was also honored with a Spirit of NIFA nomination, an honor that goes to the most passionate and kindest members of Nebraska Collegiate Forensics.
- Jadah Morrison, a junior from Wayzata, Minnesota, placed fifth in Interstate Oratory.
- Elizabeth Hansen, a junior from Fremont, Nebraska, placed sixth in Impromptu Speaking.
- Melissa Loney, a junior from Omaha, Nebraska, placed third in Communication Analysis.
- Alli Kennon, a junior from Lakeville, Minnesota, won the state championship in Communication Analysis, won the state championship in Duo Interpretation with Carly Spotts-Falzone, a senior from Wayzata, Minnesota, and placed fifth in Dramatic Interpretation.
- Carly Spotts-Falzone, a senior from Wayzata, Minnesota, won the state championship in Dramatic Interpretation, won the state championship in Duo Interpretation with Alli Kennon, a junior from Lakeville, Minnesota, won the state championship in Poetry Interpretation, won the state championship in Program Oral Interpretation, placed fourth in Prose Interpretation and won the state championship in Individual Pentathlon Sweepstakes.
The team placed third overall.
Also at state, Nathaniel Wilson, a 2007 Hastings College graduate who is now director of forensics at Doane University, was honored with the NIFA Distinguished Service Award. The award was announced by 2009 Hastings graduate Aaron Blackman, who is director of forensics at the University of Nebraska–Kearney.
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 Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) for many of the past ten years. Most recently, Hastings College placed 8th at AFA-NIET 2018.
Hastings College is a private, four-year institution located in Hastings, Nebraska, that focuses on student academic and extracurricular achievement. Hastings College has been named among “Great Schools, Great Prices” by U.S. News & World Report and a “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review. For more, go to hastings.edu.