Forensic Falcons Win Showdown in Chicago
Southeastern Illinois College’s Forensic Falcons were named team champions this weekend at the Prairie State College “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. Thirteen 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.
Harrisburg’s Bradlee Thomas earned top individual honors at the tournament. Bradlee notes, “Seeing all of our team’s dedication payoff is so amazing. All of our team members work so hard and really deserve the recognition.”
Coach Paul Cummins agrees. He notes, “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 2024 Phi Rho Pi National Tournament in Reno, Nevada. The team is coached by Jenny Billman, Paul Cummins, and Rachel Parish.
Individual results from the tournament are as follows.
Bradlee Thomas, Harrisburg: 1st in dramatic interpretation, 1st in duo interpretation (with partner Erica Johnson), 1st in overall individual sweepstakes, 2nd in speech to entertain.
Neva Wasson, Harrisburg: 1st in prose interpretation, 1st in speech to entertain, 3rd in dramatic interpretation.
Erica Johnson, Equality: 1st in duo interpretation (with partner Bradlee Thomas), 5th in poetry, 6th in persuasive speaking.
Ethan Bordoy, Harrisburg: 1st in communication analysis, 3rd in speech to entertain.
Brock Newman, Eldorado: 2nd in prose interpretation, 3rd in informative speaking, 4th in duo interpretation (with partner Rachel Russell).
Rachel Russell, Norris City: 2nd in dramatic interpretation, 4th in duo interpretation (with partner Brock Newman), 5th in open prose interpretation.
Connor Fauset, Benton: 2nd in communication analysis, 7th in prose interpretation.
Braxtyn Baugher, Harrisburg: 3rd in prose interpretation.
Carter Wiseman, Galatia: 3rd in persuasive speaking.
Abby Zirkelbach, Marion: 5th in speech to entertain.
Also competing: Emily Ross (Marion) and Hayden Moore (Ridgeway).