ASU Forensics team places 7th in nation

By

Lisa Robbins

The final tallies are in and once again the ASU Forensics (Speech) Team can report outstanding success at this year’s American Forensics Association’s National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET).

The seven-student team traveled to the University of Florida on April 2-4 and placed 7th in the nation out of approximately 80 competing schools, an outstanding feat given that most teams have 15-40 students attending the tournament for competition. The ASU team had 31 event entries (compared to 66 by most competiting schools) and advanced in more than 30 percent of its entries to elimination rounds. The was a marked improvement from last year's placement of 14th in the nation.

Frankie Marchi, a senior communications major, led the way placing 13th place overall out of more than 500 competitors. Marchi took 2nd place out of 133 in Poetry Interpretation; 6th place out of 136 in Dramatic Interpretation; top 12 (semifinals) out of 157 in Prose Interpretation; and top 24 out of 99 (quarterfinals) in Duo Interpretation with Paxton Attridge.

Senior English literature major Paxton Attridge placed 5th out of 147 in Impromptu Speaking.

James Qian, senior computer information systems major, reached the top 12 (semifinals) out of 130 in Extemporaneous Speaking and top 24 (quarterfinals) out of 118 in Communication Analysis.

The last set of individual awards came from Junior Kohinoor Gill, who reached the final round in Communication Analysis, placing 4th out of 118. Gill also reached the top 12 (semifinals) in Extemporaneous Speaking and top 24 (quarterfinals) in Impromptu Speaking.

Top 10 Team Sweepstakes would not have been possible without the additional performances of junior Benjamin Steele, sophomore Abigail Toye and freshman Sachin Kumar. In this event students can earn many points by being ranked 1st, 2nd, or 3rd by judges in their preliminary rounds.

At the AFA-NIET, competitors perform in three preliminary rounds with each of their events in order to determine which speeches will advance to quarterfinals. In each of these rounds, as well as the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals, students are directly competing with five other students in their round. There are two judges in each of the three preliminary rounds. A student must place 1st or 2nd on all 12 ballots in prelims to advance to quarterfinals.

“Team Sweepstakes truly is an accumulation of all seven students performing at the top of their game,” said Adam Symonds, ASU Forensics Team director.

“All of these accomplishments are underscored by the fact that the hundred plus entries in each of these events ALL students had to qualify for nationals by placing in the top 3 at regional tournaments on three separate occasions. So the AFA-NIET truly represents the best of the best that the collegiate speech community has to offer,” Symonds said.