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UW-Eau Claire Forensics Team Brings Home Honors from AFA-NIET

RELEASED: April 10, 2009

EAU CLAIRE — Three members of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire forensics team received high honors at the American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament held in Akron, Ohio.

Senior Eric Plantenberg, Monroe, was chosen to be part of the AFA-NIET All-American Team for 2009. Plantenberg, who was nominated by his UW-Eau Claire coaches, was reviewed by a district committee that chose him as one of four students to represent District IV. He was then reviewed by the National AFA-NIET All-American Committee that chose 17 students for the team. Consideration for membership is based on excellence in academics, forensics and community service. UW-Eau Claire has produced at least one All-American Team member for the last six years.

Those honored in competition were sophomore Meghan Pickard, Eau Claire, who placed among the top 12 speakers in the nation for informative speaking, and junior Nick Miller, Hales Corners, who placed among the top 12 speakers in the nation for persuasive speaking.

Other participants at AFA-NIET were junior Dylan Jambrek, Waukesha; junior Jake Johnson, Eau Claire; senior Katie Nichols, Pembine; senior Justin Rudnick, Stanley; sophomore Sarah Taylor, Merrill; and junior Whitney Zahn, Menomonee Falls.

"I am so proud of these nine individuals, who not only qualified for this prestigious tournament, but for the hard work and dedication that they put into preparing for it," said Karen Morris, director of forensics. "We had at least five students who missed breaking into the quarterfinal round by one speaker point. All nine (students) represented the excellence that is associated with UW-Eau Claire forensics."

The team will leave for the National Forensics Association National Tournament with 19 students qualified to compete in 77 slots. NFA will be held April 16-21 in Springfield, Mo.

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LB/NW

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