SIC Forensic Falcons Are 2014 State Champs

March 7, 2014

Southeastern Illinois College Forensic Falcons stomped the competition Feb. 28 – March 1 to win the state championship speech tournament in the community college division at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill.

The competitors at the Illinois Intercollegiate Forensic Associate state tournament were no match for the southern Illinois team. More than eighty percent of the team’s speeches made the cut for the final round of competition, beating out much larger schools from the northern Illinois region. Nineteen Illinois schools competed at the tournament.

Southeastern not only snagged the state championship in team sweepstakes, but several of its members earned state championships for besting the competition in a specific event. Individual state champion titles went to Sarah Birkla (Norris City), Dylan Comer (Carrier Mills), and Meredith Wolf (Harrisburg).

Paul Cummins, SIC Director of Forensics, said that the state tournament only allows schools to bring four entries in each event, evening the playing field and making the level of competition exceptionally rigorous.

“The state tournament gives us an opportunity to see excellent competition from colleges and universities across Illinois,” noted Coach Tyler Billman. “We look forward to the tournament every year.”

“It didn’t hit me that I was a state champion until afterwards,” remarked freshman Sarah Birkla. “But it’s very rewarding to know that the work you’ve put in is paying off.”

The team advances to the national Phi Rho Pi tournament next month in Denver, Colo.

Individual results from the state tournament are as follows.

Zachary Hanks, Harrisburg – Second in individual sweepstakes, third in open dramatic interpretation, third in after dinner speaking, fourth in duo interpretation (with partner Hannah Rudin), sixth in open poetry interpretation.

Corrine McDaniel, Harrisburg – Second in informative speaking, third in communication analysis, fourth in open prose interpretation, fifth in oratory speaking, and sixth in individual sweepstakes.

Meredith Wolf, Harrisburg – State champion in communication analysis, state champion in duo interpretation (with partner Dylan Comer), and third in dramatic interpretation.

Dylan Comer, Carrier Mills – State champion in dramatic interpretation, state champion in duo interpretation (with partner Meredith Wolf), and sixth in poetry interpretation.

Sarah Birkla, Norris City – State champion in program oral interpretation, fifth in open prose interpretation, fifth in individual sweepstakes.

Hannah Rudin, St. Louis – Second in dramatic interpretation, fourth in duo interpretation (with partner Zachary Hanks), and fifth in poetry interpretation.

Nicole York, Omaha – Second in impromptu speaking and second in communication analysis. 

Jeremiah Brown, Harrisburg – Fourth in communication analysis, fourth in oratory speaking, and fifth in prose interpretation.

Benjamin McGuire, Eldorado – Second in after dinner speaking and sixth in extemporaneous speaking.

Tre Ingram, Harrisburg – Second in program oral interpretation.

Hannah Rodgers, Harrisburg – Sixth in oratory speaking.