The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s (UNO) competitive speech team, MavForensics, is celebrating after a successful weekend at the American Forensics Association’s 2014 National Individual Events Tournament last week.
Led by the group’s sixth national champion in five years, QueenTara Pimentel, the crew of 10 students placed eighth out of 83 programs.
Made up of individual competitions across 11 speaking events, each team earns their final placement by virtue of the combined scores of each performance, which provides an inherent advantage to teams like this year’s first-place Western Kentucky, who fielded nearly triple the number of students at 27.
This year UNO had all three of its seniors advance to finals, including Pimentel, who won her national championship in Poetry Interpretation, as well as Cole Evans and Traelon Graham, who tied for first in Duo Interpretation but lost a tie breaker and ultimately finished second.
Graham and Pimentel also placed in the competition’s individual sweepstakes, which requires a student to compete in four speaking events to be eligible for the 20 awards handed out. Pimentel placed seventh while Graham placed 13th.
The rest of the team, made up of three juniors, one sophomore and three freshmen, made it to several quarterfinal and semifinal events. quarter-finals in Informative Speaking
This year’s competition was held Friday, April 4, through Monday, April 7, at Arizona State University.