The Hastings College Forensics team placed eighth in the nation at the American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, beating more than 60 teams and 500 competitors. This is the highest finish at national for the Broncos since 2002, when the team placed ninth. Two members of the team were also named Forensics All-Americans, the 13th and 14th All-Americans in the program’s rich history.
AFA-NIET is held annually in April to brings students from across the nation together to compete for national championships in 11 events. Students reach the AFA-NIET through a rigorous at-large and district qualification system verified by organizational officers.
The Broncos Forensics Team sent 15 members to compete at AFA-NIET. Five of these students represented Hastings in quarterfinals, semifinals and finals.
Senior Andrew Boge of Johnston, Iowa, was one of the team’s two finalists. Boge placed second in persuasive speaking. He also represented the team as a semifinalist in communication analysis and a quarterfinalist in impromptu speaking. His performance earned him 20th in individual sweepstakes.
Junior Carly Spotts-Falzone of Wayzata, Minnesota, was also a finalist, earning second place in prose interpretation and sixth place in program oral interpretation. Spotts-Falzone finished 13th in individual sweepstakes.
The team’s semifinalists included Kenzie Shofner, a senior from Orono, Minnesota; the quarterfinalists included Alli Kennon, a sophomore from Elko, Minnesota; Jadah Morrison, a sophomore from Chaska, Minnesota; and Caleb Merritt, a senior from Brookings, South Dakota. The complete list of Hastings College competitors and their events can be found below.
Shofner and Boge were also named All-Americans, a national award that recognizes 12 students who possess high competitive success, academic achievement and a significant focus on community service. Five of the 12 members of the All-American team were students from District Four, where Dr. Kittie Grace, head coach of the Hastings College team, serves as district chair.
Spotts-Falzone was named as the District Four Student Representative and will serve for the 2018-19 year. This position requires her to ensure students’ voices are heard at the national level of the American Forensics Association.
Students who qualified for nationals include:
- Derek Monie of Arapahoe, Nebraska, competed in communication analysis and dramatic interpretation.
- Sam Burke of Denver, Colorado, competed in impromptu speaking and extemporaneous speaking.
- Maggie Rogers of Birmingham, Alabama, competed in program oral interpretation, dramatic interpretation and after dinner speaking.
- Jesse McCollum of Kansas City, Kansas, competed in after dinner speaking.
- Courtney Hanson of Brookings, South Dakota, competed in poetry interpretation.
- Elizabeth Hanson of Fremont, Nebraska, competed in program oral interpretation and communication analysis.
- Melissa Loney of Omaha, Nebraska, competed in communication analysis, extemporaneous speaking and impromptu speaking.
- Brook McCurdy of Lexington, Nebraska, competed in after dinner speaking.
- Jadah Morrison of Chaska, Minnesota, competed in dramatic interpretation, prose interpretation and persuasive speaking.
- Nathan Navratil of Lino Lakes, Minnesota, competed in impromptu speaking, prose interpretation, program oral interpretation, after dinner speaking, poetry interpretation and duo interpretation with Alli Kennon of Elko Minnesota.
- Alli Kennon of Elko, Minnesota, competed in informative speaking, prose interpretation, poetry interpretation, dramatic interpretation, duo interpretation with Nathan Navratil of Lino Lakes, Minnesota, and duo interpretation with Kenzie Shofner of Orono, Minnesota.
- Carly Spotts-Falzone of Wayzata, Minnesota, competed in informative speaking, prose interpretation, program oral interpretation, duo interpretation, poetry interpretation and dramatic interpretation.
- Caleb Merritt of Brookings, South Dakota, competed in informative speaking, prose interpretation, program oral interpretation, duo interpretation, poetry interpretation and dramatic interpretation.
- Kenzie Shofner of Orono, Minnesota, competed in impromptu speaking, prose interpretation, persuasive speaking, communication analysis, after dinner speaking and duo interpretation with Alli Kennon of Elko Minnesota.
- Andrew Boge of Johnston, Iowa, competed in impromptu speaking, informative speaking, persuasive speaking, extemporaneous speaking, communication analysis and dramatic 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 Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) for many of the past ten years.
Hastings College is a private, four-year institution located in Hastings, Nebraska, that focuses on student academic and extracurricular achievement. With 64 majors and 15 pre-professional programs, 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.