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Speaking Bobcats talk away the competition

Speaking Bobcats of Ohio place in top five in National Forensics Tournament
Apr 21, 2010
By Catherine Roebuck

For the first time in 30 years, the Speaking Bobcats of Ohio, Ohio University?s Forensics Speech and Debate Team, placed in the top five at the 40th Annual National Forensics Association National Tournament held at Ohio University April 15-19.

The team, led by Dan West, the John A. Cassese Director of Forensics in the School of Communication Studies, placed fourth out of the 84 schools participating. Dan Glaser, a fourth-year student studying pre-med and health communication, took top honors becoming the national champion in pentathlon, officially making him the top speaker in the nation.

?[Glaser] is a model competitor,? said West. ?He exemplifies the sacrifices you have to be willing to make to be the best in the nation. He practiced above and beyond the two hours per day that I require.?

Glaser also won the national championship for poetry interpretation and placed in several other events, including impromptu speaking, persuasive speaking, and rhetorical criticism. .

Other team members who gave notable performances are second-year student Nadine Ajaka, who was a semifinalist in dramatic interpretation and semifinalist with her partner Jeremy Frazer, second-year student, in dramatic duo. Frazer was also a quarterfinalist for poetry interpretation. First-year students Adam Cesarz and Ryan Tinlin, third-year students Ted Dacey and Mike Catlos, and second-year student Ryan Dailey also turned in great performances.

Ohio University hosted the competition this year, taking 18 months to prepare for the event. Rooms were reserved and more than 30 alumni returned to campus. OHIO alumna Nancy Cartwright, famous as the voice of Bart Simpson on the television show "The Simpsons" and a former team member, was the keynote speaker for the event. Six different conference and meeting planning classes helped with various aspects of planning the tournament and 11 student interns helped during the actual tournament.

?It went really well. Some people say it was the best one ever, but I am biased,? West said, jokingly.

The team competes every year from September through April and provides the opportunity for OHIO students to meet outstanding students from 300 or more colleges or universities in intellectual competition. Through the program, students  develop skills in debate, extemporaneous speaking, oratory, rhetorical criticism and oral interpretation.

The season began for the Speaking Bobcats when team members returned to campus a week early in September 2009 to begin prepping for this year's upcoming national competition. All that practice proved to be the Bobcats? golden ticket, as the awards have been pouring in since the first word was spoken.

The team placed first in a combined sweepstakes at the 2010 National Comprehensive Tournament held in March. There, the Bobcats took home 44 individual awards, including a national championship in persuasive speaking, won by Dacey.

The Bobcats then went on to give an outstanding performance in the American Forensics Association National Tournament in early April. The team finished in 12th place, earning a National Championship in Impromptu Speaking, as well as awards in three other events.

?It?s huge [to finish in fourth place],? said West. ?It?s like in basketball if we had finished in the final four. It?s a huge accomplishment. I am on cloud nine.?


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Published: Apr 21, 2010 4:36 PM

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