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Forensics 'dream team' breaks into top 10 in individual events tourney

RELEASED: April 15, 2011

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire forensics team recently took ninth place in team sweepstakes at the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament, breaking the top 10 at this tournament for the first time since 1997.

Eleven students traveled to the University of Nebraska at Kearney April 2-3 to compete in 46 events, joining 81 other schools in attendance. Senior Patrick Martin, Burnsville, Minn., took eighth place in individual sweepstakes, and senior Meghan Pickard, Eau Claire, was named to the AFA-NIET All-American Team. The team is made up of 14 seniors nominated by their districts and voted on by a national committee. All-American team members are students who have excelled academically, given service to their school and community and are forensically competitive.

"We are so proud that Meghan was chosen for the All-American team," said Karen Morris, director of forensics.

Morris said the team wanted to earn 16th place, as they did last year, and hoped they would place as high as 14th.

"We never thought we would be in the single digits," Morris said. "The team calls themselves the 'in your dreams' team as we never dreamed we would have such a successful and incredibly fun year."

Individual results for April 2-3 were:

  • Martin took second place in persuasion and sixth place in impromptu speaking. Martin also was a quarterfinalist in communication analysis and informative speaking.

  • Senior Alicia Gerber, Ringle, took fifth place in after-dinner speaking.

  • Junior James Kust, Eau Claire, was a quarterfinalist in persuasion.

  • Seniors April Ross, Wauwatosa, and Whitney Zahn, Menomonee Falls, were quarterfinalists in informative speaking.

  • Senior Sarah Taylor, Merrill, was a quarterfinalist in program oral interpretation.

  • Sophomore Megan McKeown, Eagan, Minn., and freshman Jarrel Montgomery, Madison, were quarterfinalists in duo interpretation.

Eighteen UW-Eau Claire forensics team members will travel to the National Forensic Association National Tournament, which will be held April 15-18 at Illinois State University in Normal, Ill.

For more information, contact Morris at 715-836-3305 or at



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