BGSU forensics team extends tournament winning streak

BOWLING GREEN, O.—Members of the Bowling Green State University forensics, speech and debate team won eight of the 10 individual events last weekend as BGSU claimed its eighth straight Collegiate Forensic Association (CFA) tournament championship.

Ian Hatch, a sophomore from Portage, Mich., was the winner of three individual events for BGSU, which easily outdistanced its 10 competitors in Montreal, Quebec. The Falcon forensics team owns the only undefeated record and longest winning streak in the CFA’s 25-year history, taking the title in each of its last eight visits to the tournament.

Hatch also led a BGSU sweep of the first four places in the pentathlon, an individual competition based on performance in five or more events. In addition to his victories in informative speaking, persuasive speaking and dramatic interpretation, he teamed with Alesha Gailhouse, a freshman from Perrysburg, to win duo interpretation, and added a fourth-place finish in extemporaneous speaking.

The pentathlon runner-up was Jennifer Myers, a senior from the Bronx, N.Y., who placed first in prose interpretation; second in communication analysis, poetry interpretation and after dinner speaking, and third in impromptu speaking.

Sophomore Jacob Redfern finished third in the pentathlon. Redfern, from Gahanna, won the impromptu speaking event and took second in both persuasive and extemporaneous speaking and third in informative speaking. He also paired with Nicholas Blaine to place second in parliamentary debate, an event in which Blaine was the second-place speaker and Redfern was fourth individually.

The tournament marked BGSU’s formal return to team debate after a lengthy absence. “We were particularly pleased that our debaters earned honors amongst the top in the tournament in our first time back in debate in roughly 40 years,” said Paul Wesley Alday, Bowling Green’s director of forensics and debate.

Blaine, a freshman from Sylvania, completed the BGSU sweep of the top pentathlon spots. He finished fourth on the additional strength of a victory in extemporaneous speaking and placing third in persuasive speaking, fourth in informative speaking, sixth in prose interpretation and seventh in poetry interpretation.

BGSU’s other individual event champion was Katie Hodgdon, in communication analysis. The sophomore from Pittsburgh, Pa., added a third-place effort in duo interpretation—with Gailhouse—and took fourth in poetry interpretation and fifth in both informative and after dinner speaking.

Another freshman, Ryan Dailey of Toledo, was runner-up in informative speaking, third in extemporaneous speaking, fifth in impromptu speaking and seventh in dramatic interpretation. Gailhouse added third-place finishes in communication analysis and poetry interpretation, along with a fourth-place effort in prose interpretation.

Noting that all seven team members placed in the finals of at least three events, Alday called the tournament “a particularly rewarding experience, as last year we graduated all but four team members and this year was supposed to be our rebuilding season.”

The CFA title was the 11th for Alday, who previously took Midland Lutheran College from Fremont, Neb., to three straight championships. He is the only unbeaten coach in CFA history.

Prior to last weekend’s triumph, the Falcon forensics team had compiled top-three finishes in competitions at the University of Michigan and at Butler, Miami and Eastern Michigan universities. Remaining tournaments this season are the Ohio State Championships at the University of Akron, Pi Kappa Delta Nationals in Louisiana and the National Forensic Association Nationals in Missouri.

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(Posted February 06, 2009 )