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Forensics Team Excels During Season

By Matt Haake
On April 24, 2017

Photo by: Corban Hickman

The Ottawa University Forensics Team represented the University at the Pi Kappa National Tournament in Boise, Idaho. For those who don’t know, this type of forensics is an argumentative exercise of communication rather than the commonly misconception of crime detection.

In this activity, students research interesting topics to write their own speeches for competition as well as create debate cases. They memorize the pieces and get them ready for performance at the beginning of the school year.

The team consists of three “incredibly smart and talented women,” as described by their coach, Ryan Louis. Ada Castro, LaMoine Tatum and Jacyn Dawes make a team that is “small but mighty,” as described by Castro. They traveled through nine states over the season racking up just shy of 50 awards.

The Pi Kappa Delta tournament saw a number of awards including Dawes’ national championship in informative speaking. Dawes also received a superior award, which is the top 10 percent of the nation, in impromptu and literary criticism. While Tatum earned an excellent award, top 30 percent, in discussion, a form of debate. Lastly, Castro received a superior award in broadcast journalism and excellent awards in informative speaking, discussion and dramatic interpretation.

They not only held OU’s name up high at the Pi Kappa Delta tournament but also qualified for the National Individual Events Tournament or NIET. In order to qualify for this tournament, participants must receive less than a total of eight between places in three different competitions. For instance, Dawes qualified with a total of three as she received three first-places at three different competitions.

This tournament is known as the “Speech Christmas” due to the magnificence of each and every piece. It was definitely an accomplishment for Dawes and Castro to have qualified for this elite competition -- they left it all on the stage.

Coach Louis sums up their year and season best.

“I am so proud of these students. And to see their successes celebrated at the showcase held on campus was incredible. We all cried -- and, of course, we laughed a bit, too,” he says.

Congrats to these dedicated students and the entire forensics program. 

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