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Forensics team produces back-to-back national champions

RELEASED: May 4, 2011

Patrick Martin
Patrick Martin

EAU CLAIRE University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire junior forensics student Patrick Martin has been named the 2011 Interstate Oratory National Champion. Martin, of Burnsville, Minn., was one of two representatives from Wisconsin universities who participated in the 138th annual Interstate Oratory Contest April 21-22 at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va.

This is the second year in a row that a UW-Eau Claire student has been the Interstate Oratory Competition Champion. Alumnus Nick Miller claimed the title in 2010. According to Karen Morris, UW-Eau Claire forensics team director, the team has produced winners from this tournament nine times, but the last time UW-Eau Claire had back-to-back IOC champions was in 1955 and 1956.

Morris described Martin as extremely focused during competition. He was the top-seeded competitor coming out of the preliminary rounds, won his semifinal round and then took a majority from the five final round judges.

"He isn't nervous prior to or during speaking, but he usually needs to talk and analyze how he did," Morris said, noting that Martin recently placed second in persuasion at both the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament and the National Forensic Association National Championships. "We do most of our coaching after he speaks. He was more than deserving."

Morris said that UW-Eau Claire has "an incredible history" with the IOC and that the university is regarded not only as school that's very good at persuasive public speaking, but as a school that understands the art of oration.

The Interstate Oratory Contest is the oldest intercollegiate speech competition in existence. Each state may send two of its best persuasive speakers to the competition. Martin qualified by taking second place in persuasion at the Wisconsin State Tournament in February.

For more information about Patrick Martin, contact Karen Morris at morriskr@uwec.edu.

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BS/RD/DW

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