University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

NEWS RELEASE

News Bureau . Schofield Hall 201 . Eau Claire, WI 54702
phone: (715) 836-4741
fax: (715) 836-2900

UW-Eau Claire Forensics Team Places
In Top Ten at NFA, Includes National Champion

 MAILED:  April 23, 2004

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire forensics team recently took 9th place in the nation at the National Forensics Association tournament in Malcomb, Ill.

In addition to placing in the top ten at the NFA, UW-Eau Claire produced a national champion. Junior Kelly Bender, New London, was named the national champion in persuasive speaking. Bender also placed 6th in the nation in informative speaking and took 15th place in the pentathlon. This is the second year in a row that the NFA persuasive speaking champion is from Eau Claire.

“We must be a persuasive place,” joked director of forensics Karen Morris.

Bender is very happy about winning a national championship with her team, but the individual sweepstakes surprised her even more.

“It may sound strange, but I truly have to say there’s no way I could have had all this success without the undying support of my team,” Bender said. “The best part about winning isn’t the trophy you receive; it’s all the hugs and tears you share with your coaches and teammates when the awards ceremony is over. Eau Claire’s team is so close that we call ourselves a family. And I am so grateful that my family was there supporting me throughout the entire tournament,” Bender said.

Students who made the quarter-finals were junior Christopher Conklin, Green Bay, in after-dinner speaking and impromptu speaking, and freshman Amy Oldakowski, Sobieski, in rhetorical criticism.

“The team’s goal was to be in the top 10 at the NFA,” Morris said. “By getting 9th, the team met their goal, and the national championship in persuasive speaking was just icing on the cake. It’s been a long year, but well worth it.”

Bender and junior Andy Bevernitz, Clintonville, will represent the state of Wisconsin at the Interstate Oratory Contest in Phoenix, Ariz., April 22-24.

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Excellence. Our measure, our motto, our goal.

 Judy Berthiaume, Director
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 201
(715) 836-4741
newsbur@uwec.edu

Updated: April 23, 2004