[Easton, PA] Lafayette Forensics Society competed at FOUR National Tournaments this semester. All four were contested online and represented the culmination of a full year of online competition. Two of the tournaments were small entries at both the Pi Kappa Delta and American Forensics Association championships. At the Pi Kappa Delta tournament, senior Anshuman Mishra, was a semi-finalist in NFA-LD debate joining a long list of Lafayette debaters that have achieved that honor. A deserving achievement for the senior and 4 year member of the team.
The full-team got in on the act at the National Speech Championships. After finishing 11th as a team last year, the team had a goal of finishing in the top 10. Every single entry contributed to the team finishing 7th!!! This is the first time that the Lafayette speech team finished in the top 10 of the top division of a national tournament. 5 different events advanced to a final round at NSC. Jordan Shaibani and Kelly Mwaamba finished 4th in Duo Interpretation. Kelly also made the final round in Persuasion and Poetry where she took 4th and 5th respectively. Senior Scott Kamen had an excellent tournament with two more final round appearances in Persuasion and Informative, taking 6th place in both events.
Finally, both speech and debate competitors finished the season with the National Forensics Association’s Championship Tournament. The tournament was held online by our own Director of Debate John Boyer, who had the unenviable task of being the Tournament Director at the first (and hopefully only) online NFA championship. Lafayette Forensics pushes all year towards a capstone experience at this tournament and it represents a culmination and celebration of the hard work the students have done. A number of students received awards at the tournament.
In debate; Josh Hale was a double octofinalist, Ceci Montufar was an octofinalist, and Luisa Gunn finished her career in style with a SEMI-FINAL finish in debate. These results were enough for the debaters to finish 4th in debate sweepstakes, the 8th time in 15 years that Lafayette has finished in the top five!
In speech; Scott Kamen was an octofinalist in Duo and Informative, and a quarterfinalist in ADS and Rhetorical Criticism. Jordan Shaibani was an octafinalist in Duo with her partner Kelly. Kelly Mwaamba was an octofinalist in duo with both Jordan AND Scott, as well as octofinal finishes in Poetry, Persuasion, and Prose. Jefrey Alexander was also an octofinalist in Prose! Combined, these finishes earned Lafayette a FIFTH PLACE finish in Division II and one of our highest point totals in team history!
While it was a difficult season, it was still rewarding. We don’t know what the future holds for competitive forensics next year, but we have proven that online competition is not an obstacle to our students excelling at, learning, and growing from forensics! See you next year!
The debaters celebrating their end-of-season debate awards! From Left, top: Andrea Rivera Conte, Ceci Montufar, Ben Herman, Jacob Moldover, Joshua Hulon Hale. Bottom, center: Yordanos Mengistu, Luisa Gunn holding the NTDC 1st place team award and the 4th place debate sweepstakes award from NFA Nationals. Not pictured: Anshuman Mishra, Jaden Stone