MAILED: May 7, 2001
EAU CLAIRE—A University of
Wisconsin-Eau Claire student won first place at the Interstate Oratory Contest,
the oldest speech contest in the nation, in Benicia, Calif., April 27-28.
state of Wisconsin for the first time, junior Aaron Unseth, Plato, Minn.,
won the tournament and is now the 2001 Interstate Oratory Champion.
Each state sends two representatives for the competition.
Senior Jodie Becker, Germantown, qualified for the fourth consecutive
year and reached the semi-finals.
Unseth and Becker belong to the UW-Eau Claire forensics
team, which placed fourth in the nation at the National Forensics Association
national tournament at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green April 19-23.
Karen Piercy, director of forensics, said the team wanted
to try for fifth place but had agreed they would be satisfied if they placed
among the top 10. “The team was ecstatic when they placed fourth in Team
Sweepstakes,” Piercy said.
Senior Arwen Williams, Eau Claire, placed third in
the nation for informative speaking, and junior Eric Rasmussen, Eau Claire,
finished fifth. Rasmussen also placed 15th for best speaker in the
Unseth and junior Brian Haapala, Grayslake, Ill.,
placed fourth in the nation for duo interpretation. Unseth also placed sixth for
poetry interpretation and 11th for best speaker in the individual
The following students reached semifinals (top 12 in the
nation): junior Ben Schneider, Greendale, and senior Reid Sollberger, Spooner,
for prose interpretation; Unseth for persuasion; and Schneider for impromptu.
Students who made it to the quarterfinals (top 24 in the
nation) included Rasmussen for prose interpretation, poetry and duo
interpretation with junior Scott Boras, Kellogg, Minn.; senior Barbara Ellevold,
Pulaski, for informative speaking, poetry, and persuasion;
Haapala and Schneider for after-dinner speaking; Sollberger for informative
speaking; Unseth for rhetorical criticism; and Williams for persuasion.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: May 7, 2001