The Southern Utah University Forensics Team opened its season with a fifth place overall finish at the University of Wyoming’s “Top of the Rockies” Speech and Debate Tournament held in Laramie September 18 and 19.
With 24 colleges and universities representing 11 states in the meet, SUU tied for the fifth spot with Texas Tech University in a tournament won by the U.S. Air Force Academy. Carroll College, Truman State University and Rice University placed second through fourth, respectively.
SUU’s Sherry Nay, a senior from Gunnison, Utah, won tournament championships in Informative Speaking and Persuasive Speaking, and was a semifinalist in Extemporaneous Speaking. Sherry finished third in Persuasion at the forensic honorary society national last year, and is a former national novice champion in Communication Analysis.
It runs in the family, obviously, as Sherry’s cousin, Jessica Nay, also from Gunnison, was one of only 15, from among thousands last year, to receive All-American honors.
Phil Martin, a junior from Orem, Utah, was second in After Dinner Speaking and a semifinalist in Impromptu.
Senior Britany Smith, from Vernal, Utah, was fifth in Program Oral Interpretation and a semifinalist in Prose.
Jacob Neilson, junior from Fremont, Utah, rounded out the individual events with a sixth place finish in Informative.
The SUU Parliamentary Debaters turned in their finest performance in three years, advancing all three teams to elimination rounds in Junior Parliamentary Debate. This latter category is limited to students in their first two years of that event. Neilson teamed with sophomore Levi Cazier of Paiute, Utah, and Martin paired with first-year student Jennifer Booth of Tooele, Utah, for twin four-win, three-loss records and a berth in the first elimination round.
Junior transfer Jeff Spears, of Carbon, Utah, teamed with Jonathan Jones, a junior from Taylorsville, Utah, for a five-win, two-loss record and the fifth seed in a 16-team second- elimination round. While the SUU duos were eliminated after the octofinals, they combined for a 13-and-8 preliminary round record with wins over Truman, Air Force, and Colorado College.
In addition, Cazier was rated 10th among eighty debaters competing in the division.
SUU is looking forward to hosting the SUU “Red Rock Classic” on its Cedar City campus October 2 and 3, and have already received commitments from Arizona State, Western Kentucky, and Mt. San Antonio College in California--three of the top 10 national individual event competitors