The University of Louisiana at Monroe’s Speech Team captured the state championship title at the Louisiana Intercollegiate Forensics Association Championships Jan. 27-29 in Alexandria. The tournament, hosted by LSU-Alexandria, featured competitors from 10 universities.
L to R: Marcus Beckwith, Kina Reed, Isaac Henderson, Amy Wilson,
Casey Miller, Dena Boone, Ankita Patel
(Photo courtesy Bob Alexander)
Assistant speech coach Kina Reed said she is proud of ULM’s speech team. “It’s very exciting to be a part of the magic that is collegiate forensics. The team puts a huge amount of effort into practicing and building strong performances that can compete nationally; but to be able to come back to our own state and earn the state title is really an honor.”
ULM earned individual state championships in six of 12 events, placing them above any other team in the state. ULM was followed by LSU with three individual championships, McNeese State with two individual championships, and Louisiana Tech with one individual championship.
In addition to the state titles, ULM senior Ankita Patel, junior Amy Wilson, freshman Casey Miller, senior Dena Boone, senior Isaac Henderson and junior Marcus Beckwith teamed to earn a total of 34 awards during the competition. Two of ULM’s team members, Henderson and Boone, were recognized among the top three competitors in the state.
Boone won the state championships in After Dinner Speaking and her second consecutive state championship in Informative Speaking. Boone also earned the state championship in the Pentathlon competition, which recognizes the top overall competitor in the state by combining scores from five different events.
Team captain Henderson and Miller won the state championship in Duo Interpretation, and Henderson finished third in the Pentathlon competition. Henderson also earned honors as the runner-up in Dramatic Interpretation, Poetry Interpretation, and Program of Oral Interpretation.
Beckwith contributed to the team’s success by earning his second consecutive state championship in Prose Interpretation and the state championship in Dramatic Interpretation. Wilson earned runner-up honors in Communication Analysis.
ULM’s performance at the state competition continues their developing season. In 2003-2004, the team earned 99 awards and a third place finish at the national championship tournament. In 2004-2005, the team earned 175 awards and a second place finish at the national championship tournament. For the 2005-2006 season, the team has already earned 85 awards in just five competitions.
The speech team is improving every day, head speech coach Bob Alexander said. “With seven competitions remaining, this team is in a very promising position for this year’s national championships. We started the season a little slow, but the team is rapidly developing into a top contender.”
The ULM Speech and Debate Forum is open to any undergraduate student, and no prior experience is required. For more information about the speech team, contact Alexander at 342-1462.
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