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SDSU places third at national speech tournament

SDSU's 2022 team at the American Forensics Association National Speech Tournament
SDSU finished in third place at the American Forensics Association National Speech Tournament earlier this month. Competing at the tournament were, from left: front, Nathan Price, Joshua Kliegel, Lars Wagener and Jesus Hernandez; back, Samantha Pappas, Rachael Guler, Eliza Carlson and Kara Vetch.

South Dakota State University placed third in the limited entry team sweepstakes at the American Forensics Association National Speech Tournament April 1-4 at the University of Nebraska.

This is the first team placing for SDSU at this prestigious national tournament, earning points in all seven categories for which it competed. All team members received a three or higher score in a preliminary round to record points for the team competition. In addition to placing third in the limited entry team sweepstakes, SDSU was 28th overall, the sixth consecutive placing in the top 30 overall.

“Our success this season is reflective of the investment we made in our team as a whole,” Carlile said. “The team has been committed to one another to give our best for one another. It’s not about just them as an individual, but it’s a culmination of our work as a team. “Having the opportunity to win a team sweepstakes award in this tournament helps us keep moving forward to our ultimate goal of finishing in the top 20,” she continued. “Getting that recognition at the award ceremony and having your university’s name said inspires the returning students to keep having that success and be able to propel us moving forward.”

The 2022 tournament marks the second year there has been an open division and a limited entry division.

Limited entry was a better fit for the team this year, according to Carlile.

“We were leaner in the number of events this season as we focused on having quality events as opposed to having a large entry,” Carlile said.

Before the tournament, a showcase event was held in the University Student Union. Drawing a large crowd, attendees included Speech 101 students and supporters from across campus.

“I thought was a huge help because our season had been a mix of limited in-person tournaments and virtual or asynchronous,” Carlile said. “We needed to get reaccustomed to having that thrill of performing live.”

The 2022 team members include (name, year, major, hometown):

  • Eliza Carlson, senior, agricultural education, communication and leadership, Paynesville, Minnesota
  • Rachael Guler, freshman, psychology and political science, Pelican Rapids, Minnesota
  • Jesus Hernandez, senior, communication studies, Marshall, Minnesota
  • Joshua Kliegel, junior, business economics, Watertown
  • Samantha Pappas, freshman, biochemistry, Groton
  • Nathan Price, senior, economics, Mapleton, Minnesota
  • Kara Vetch, sophomore, mathematics and data analysis, Aberdeen
  • Lars Wagener, senior, mathematics and data analysis, Kasson, Minnesota

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