Forensic Falcons Advance Speakers to Every Final Round to Win at Prairie State
Southeastern Illinois College’s Forensic Falcons were named team champions this weekend at the Prairie State “Showdown in the Heights” Speech Tournament in Chicago Heights, Illinois. The Falcons earned top school honors and several individual awards at the event, which featured entries in public address, interpretation, and limited preparation. Eleven schools competed at Prairie State.
In addition to the overall team award, the Falcons brought home the tournament’s quality award for strongest performance per capita. The award is calculated based on tournament success proportional to the size of a school’s entry. The Falcons advanced a performer to every final round at the event, which helped them clinch the quality award.
First-year competitor Neva Wasson earned two individual championships after advancing all four of her events to final rounds. “The tournament went very well – better than I expected,” she notes. “I’m excited for what next semester holds and the success we’ll have then.”
Coach Jenny Billman agrees. She explains, “I’m particularly encouraged that our team earned the quality award. It shows every competitor on our squad worked hard and performed well. Everyone had a job to do, and they did it.”
Each competition builds to the 2023 Phi Rho Pi National Tournament in Bethesda, Maryland. The team is coached by Jenny Billman, Paul Cummins, and Rachel Parish.
Individual results from the tournament are as follows.
Neva Wasson (Harrisburg): tournament champion in Dramatic Interpretation, tournament champion in Duo Interpretation (with partner Connor Fauset), 3rd place in Speech to Entertain, 4th place in Poetry.
Omari Jackson (Mt. Vernon): tournament champion in Persuasion, tournament champion in Prose, tournament champion in Poetry.
Noah Devous (Harrisburg): tournament champion in Informative Speaking, tournament champion in Impromptu Speaking, 4th place in Extemporaneous Speaking.
Layton Glover (Equality): 2nd place in Informative speaking, 5th place in Impromptu Speaking, 6th place in Extemporaneous Speaking.
Trey Murphy (Benton): tournament champion in Program Oral Interpretation, 3rd place in Informative Speaking.
Connor Fauset (Benton): tournament champion in Duo Interpretation (with Wasson), 4th place in Dramatic Interpretation.
Ethan Bordoy (Harrisburg): 4th place in Speech to Entertain, 5th in Dramatic Interpretation.
Aryanna Guyton (Carrier Mills): 2nd place in Communication Analysis.