Forensic Falcons are 2022 Illinois State Champions
Southeastern Illinois College’s Forensic Falcons were named overall state champions in the 2-year college division at the Illinois Intercollegiate Forensic Association March 5, earning both first place in the team individual events category and second in the team debate category.
Local students Haley Rice, Isaiah Francis, Landon Gates, Jenkin Naas, and Trey Murphy earned state championships at the event. Haley Rice, Landon Gates, and Omari Jackson also received open finals awards, which means they placed among the top 6 overall competitors from any college or university in the state.
“Our team has invested literally hundreds of hours in their events and in their teammates’ events,” noted Director of Forensics Jenny Billman. “To perform well in a deeply talented state means a lot to us.”
Individual results from the tournament are as follows.
Haley Rice (Stonefort) – State champion in open informative speaking, state champion in open communication analysis, state champion in 2-year individual sweepstakes, state champion in 2-year oratory, 3rd in 2-year speech to entertain, 5th in open individual sweepstakes.
Isaiah Francis (Marion) – State champion in 2-year impromptu speaking, state champion in 2-year parliamentary debate (with partner Landon Gates), top novice in parliamentary debate (with Gates), 2nd in 2-year parliamentary debate speaker points, 3rd in 2-year individual sweepstakes, 5th in 2-year extemporaneous speaking, 5th in 2-year speech to entertain.
Landon Gates (Harrisburg) — State champion in 2-year parliamentary debate (with partner Isaiah Francis), state champion in 2-year parliamentary debate speaker points, top novice in parliamentary debate (with Francis), 2nd in open informative speaking, 2nd in 2-year extemporaneous speaking, 4th in 2-year impromptu speaking, 4th in 2-year individual sweepstakes.
Omari Jackson (Mt. Vernon) –4th in open poetry interpretation, 4th in open program oral interpretation, 2nd in 2-year prose interpretation, top novice poetry, top novice program oral interpretation.
Jenkin Naas (Harrisburg) – State champion in 2-year duo interpretation (with partner Trey Murphy), 2nd in 2-year dramatic interpretation, 6th in 2-year speech to entertain.
Trey Murphy (Benton) — State champion in 2-year duo interpretation (with partner Jenkin Naas), 2nd in 2-year program oral interpretation.
Noah Devous (Equality) – 2nd in 2- year communication analysis, 4th in 2-year informative speaking.
The team is coached by Jenny Billman, John Corum, and Paul Cummins.
In one of the last events of the season, the team will hold a public performance on Thursday, March 31 at 6:30 p.m. in the George T. Dennis Visual and Performing Arts Center on SIC’s Harrisburg campus. Tickets are a minimum donation of $5 and will support the team traveling to the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament in St. Louis.