Texas A&M-Kingsville students place 10th in nation in forensics tourney
KINGSVILLE - April 18, 2011
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The Texas A&M University-Kingsville forensics team came back from the National Forensics Association (NFA) national tournament ranked 10th in the nation. They competed at Illinois State University in the division III contest. It has been more than 30 years since the university had a forensics team compete and do well at the NFA tournament.
Leading the team were Marcus Perez and Patrick Valenzuela, who placed 13th in dramatic duo interpretation out of 160 total entries. Perez is a sophomore communications/English major from Bishop and Valenzuela is a freshman criminology major from Portland.
Lindsay Pierce, a senior communications and psychology major from Bishop, placed in the top 50 of 191 students in poetry interpretation; and Christina Wilborn, a freshman political science major from Bishop, was in the top 50 percent of 240 students who competed in prose interpretation. However, neither advanced into the elimination rounds.
“Placing 10th in the nation in an impressive feat considering the team was formed throughout the fall semester and had less time than all other universities and colleges to qualify,” said Casey Garcia, speech lecturer and forensics team director. “It also is notable that in its first attendance at the NFA in over 30 years, the team was able to place above many forensics program that have been in existence and attendance at the tournament for decades.
“With only four students, we also outscored teams with almost double the entries at the national competition,” he said. “I am extremely proud of our students who represented our university with humility, professionalism and talent. The accomplishments and accolades earned from this national tournament serve as a reminder of what these students are capable of and what they can achieve next year at nationals."
According to Dr. Manuel Flores, associate professor and chair of the communications and theatre arts department, the forensics team won several national championships in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s in the NFA, however most recently the team has competed in the Phi Delta Kappa national meet, where students placed in the top 10 individually, but not as a team.
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