Speech team travels to Eastern Michigan, brings home awards

By Abby Zerull, Writer

UA Speech and Debate team poses for a photo after receiving awards.
Photo courtesy of the Speech and Debate team.
UA Speech and Debate team poses for a photo after receiving awards.

Last weekend, The University of Akron Speech and Debate team took on Eastern Michigan University’s two-day forensics tournament in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

The hard work of both the students and coaching staff paid off, as most members returned with awards in hand.

Forensics events are public speaking competitions that include several rhetorical categories – informative, interpretative, and extemporaneous – in which college students from all over the country participate.

As is typical of two-day collegiate forensics tournaments, or “swing tournaments,” each day was an individual competition, meaning that the students had two opportunities to “break,” or make it to finals throughout the weekend.

Freshmen Brad Keylor and Nathan Hill both made outstanding showings, making it to the top six in the dramatic interpretation event on the second day. Hill did especially well, earning second place out of the 19 students entered.

Sophomore Maddie Cuckow also achieved great success on the second day of the tournament, making it to finals in both the prose interpretation and duo interpretation events, the latter along with Keylor, her duo partner.

Junior Kelsey Jones also had success in the program oral interpretation event on the second day. She, too, went to the final round with Keylor, her duo partner.

Junior Abby Zerull also made the final round of program oral interpretation both days, as well as the final of persuasion speaking on the second day.

Senior Alyssa Gieseck added points to the board by competing in four events.

Eastern Michigan University has been hosting the swing tournament for upwards of 40 years. It is known for its eccentrically-themed tournaments that encourage competitors and alumni to return each season. This year was no exception to that tradition.

This year’s “Marvel vs. DC Comics” theme found its way into trophies, the awards room, and even into some of the rounds.  

UA’s team had a successful weekend in Ypsilanti, and is preparing for its upcoming state tournament, the Ohio Forensic Association State Championships, which will be held at Capital University on Feb. 19 and 20.