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Bethel College Forensics earns five spots at Nationals tournament
The Nationals competition will take place in Santa Anna, Calif.
With a team comprised of mostly first-year students, and a longstanding reputation of excellence to live up to, there was a lot of pressure on the team of seven Threshers to earn a spot at Nationals. Yet when the final ballots were tallied and the results were called, it was all cheers and smiles from the Bethel squad.
Of the eight entered events, five of them punched their tickets to the Nationals meet in sunny Santa Anna, Calif. this spring.
Freshman Rebecca Schlosser from Moundridge earned two of these spots, not only placing 3rd in Extemporaneous Speaking but also winning Impromptu Speaking at her first collegiate district meet.
The novice combo of Isaiah Smith, a freshman from Great Bend, and Elizabeth Schmucker, a sophomore from Goessel, landed with a 2nd place finish in Duo Interpretation, just one place behind a nationals’ champion.
Novice Denzel Dixon, junior from Newark, Del., in his first ever Forensics meet, placed 3rd in Interpretation of Poetry. Lastly, Emil Benavides, a sophomore from Stockton, rounded out the national qualifiers with a 2nd place finish in After Dinner Speaking.
Also competing were Tristan England, a sophomore from Pretty Prairie, and Hayden Honomichl, a junior from Great Bend.
At this district meet, a total of five events were qualified for nationals. At this point last season, only one event was qualified, and a total of five events were taken to Nationals at the end of the season last spring.
With almost half of the season remaining, things are only looking brighter and brighter for the Bethel forensics program. Although team places were not handed out, head coach Cristy Dougherty is confident in her team’s placement.
“I think we got at least in the top three,” said Dougherty. “We came in as the underdogs. I keep getting messages [from the Forensics community] about how well our team did.”
Even without team placements, the nation’s eyes once again have seen what the Threshers can do. At this meet, Bethel competed against powerhouses such as the University of Texas at Austin, Louisiana State University, Kansas State, and many other schools whose population can outnumber Bethel’s nearly 83 to 1.
Yet with this placement, Bethel Forensics is once again receiving national recognition for its small but mighty attitude, showing that the Threshers can play with the big schools and easily hold their own.