Forensics team continues its winning ways

Clockwise, from top left: Bobby Browning, Yanelly Villegas, Jimmy Zucker and Chris Michels.

Clockwise, from top left: Bobby Browning, Yanelly Villegas, Jimmy Zucker and Chris Michels.

The NIU Forensics team extended its winning streak at the Pi Kappa Delta Nationals at Webster University in St. Louis, Mo., held from March 13 to 16.

Eight members of NIU’s Forensics Team competed against 89 other schools to win the “Team of Excellence” award.

Debate Team competitors were Chris Michels, Benjamin Donovan, Yanelly Villegas and Kyle Larson. Individual events competitors representing NIU were Bobby Browning, Jimmy Zucker, Bernard Chestleigh, Kyle Larson and Kevin Bartelt.

Individual results for the Pi Kappa Delta national tournament were:

  • Browning received superior in After Dinner Speaking, superior in Persuasion and excellent in Impromptu Speaking.
  • Chestleigh received showcase and superior ratings in Program Oral Interpretation.
  • Larson received excellent in Extemporaneous Speech.
  • Zucker received superior in Impromptu Speaking, excellent in After Dinner Speaking and Excellent in Persuasion.

Superior awards are reserved for the top 10 percent of competitors in individual, debate and combined categories.

Back row, from left: Kyle Larson, Yanelly Villegas, Nicole Autry (coach), Lisa Roth (coach), Judy Santacaterina (coach). Front row, from left: Chris Michels, Jimmy Zucker, Bernard Chestleigh, Robert Browning, Kevin Bartelt.

Back row, from left: Kyle Larson, Yanelly Villegas, Nicole Autry (coach), Lisa Roth (coach), Judy Santacaterina (coach). Front row, from left: Chris Michels, Jimmy Zucker, Bernard Chestleigh, Robert Browning, Kevin Bartelt.

Judy Santacaterina, Nicole Autry and Lisa Roth served as coaches for the event.

“This was a great experience for our coaches and students,” Santacaterina said.

“Pi Kappa Delta is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, so it offered us not only a wonderful competitive experience, but an opportunity to embrace our past, as well,” she added. “As I took pride in the accomplishments of our students, I couldn’t help but think of the late M. Jack Parker and Dorothy Bishop, who were the heart and soul of NIU Forensics. I know they would be proud.”

NIU’s team isn’t finished yet, though.

In early April, Browning, Chestleigh and Lauren Scott will travel to Hutchinson, Kan., for the American Forensics Association’s National Individual Events Tournament. This elite national competition requires a very difficult qualification process, with Browning, Chestleigh and Scott representing NIU in more thaneight different speaking categories.

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