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January 28, 2008

ULM Speech and Debate Team wins four state championships

The University of Louisiana at Monroe’s Speech and Debate Team continued its tradition of excellence by capturing four state championships at the Louisiana Intercollegiate Forensics Association Championships, hosted by LSU in Baton Rouge, Jan. 25-27. ULM placed second overall.

The team was led by sophomore Mallory Bonnette (2006-2007 national champion in both Prose Interpretation and Duo Interpretation), who earned five awards, including her second consecutive state championship in Prose Interpretation and the state championship in After Dinner Speaking. Bonnette is from Effie.

Sophomore Tim Herrington, of Deridder, earned a state championship title as the top ranked speaker in novice debate, one of the four awards he earned during the competition. Herrington also earned the prestigious Jim Norwig Award, which is given to the overall top debater among all formats of debate and all classifications of experience.

Senior Chinedu Akunne of Nigeria, junior Lamar Franklin of Monroe, senior Kady Mitchel of Pineville, senior Rob Redding of Fayetteville, Ga., and junior Zach Wilkes of Farmerville earned additional individual awards representing ULM.

Head coach Bob Alexander said, “I am extremely proud of the success that this group has had, and the hard work that they have put in to get to this point. Each of these students has stepped up to continue the winning tradition of the ULM Speech and Debate Team. We were a little disappointed to finish in second place (behind LSU), but LSU has developed into a formidable opponent and when you combine that with their 53 entries into the tournament, we simply did not have the number of entries necessary to effectively compete.”

The ULM team’s focus now turns to the national championship tournaments. On March 14-16, ULM will travel to Pensacola, Fla. to defend its national championship in speech competition. On March 28-30, the team, which holds a first-place national ranking in debate, will compete in Baytown, Texas during the International Public Debate Association national championships.

The ULM Speech and Debate Team is open to any student, and no prior experience is required. If you are interested in finding out more about the team, contact Alexander at (318) 342-1462 or e-mail him at:

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