Five students from Grace College’s Forensics Team concluded their traveling season with the National Public Communication Speech and Debate League (PCSDL) Tournament at Butler University, Indianapolis, Ind., on April 6 – 7. The team took first place sweepstakes in Division Two. Individually, Grace student Amaris Longenecker took the national championship in poetry slam and Jonas Clayton took third place in the same event. Clayton and Elizabeth Mattia took first place in Duo Improvisation, while Mattia also took third place in Public Narrative. Student Chloe Woods placed sixth in Audible Interpretation and Sarah Turek placed third in Audition Monologue.
“Earning first place sweeps at the national tournament and two individual national titles is a big accomplishment for our team and school,” said Melanie Eller, director of forensics at Grace College.
This was Sarah Turek’s first season competing with Grace Forensics, but she competed in drama and public speaking through high school and was excited to continue that tradition. “I was surprised our team became Division II champions with just five students, but each of us placed in at least one of our events. Amaris, Elizabeth, and Jonas really helped the team by winning first place in Poetry Slam and Improv Duo,” Turek said.
Despite the name, forensics does not have anything to do with the science of investigation. Instead, it is the application of reason and public speaking in competition. “Forensics is different from other extracurriculars because of the unique combination of solo competition and team camaraderie,” Turek said. “Competitors learn from each other and are very supportive of fellow forensics teams.”