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The West Chester University Forensics Speech and Debate team successfully defended their title as the best team in Pennsylvania winning the championship for the third year straight year when the team traveled to Penn State University on February 14-15.
This victory is particularly impressive given that this is a rebuilding year for the young team. The team finished ahead of Lafayette College, who placed second; University of Pennsylvania, who placed third; Bloomsburg University, who placed fourth; and Penn State University, who rounded out the top five.
West Chester took the top four places in best overall speakers for the tournament headed by first year Honors physics major Rebeka Yocum of Northumberland, who won four individual events to be named Top Overall Speaker. She was also the State Champion in Persuasive speaking, which earned her a highly coveted invitation to compete at the Interstate Oratorical Contest, the oldest continuously running national speech contest in the nation open only to the top two persuasive speakers from each state. West Chester University’s other top speakers were Kellen Kane, sophomore Honors chemistry-biology, premedical program major, from Sunbury, who claimed the Second Place Overall Speaker Award; Imani Thomas, senior communication studies major from Wyndmoor, who took Third Place; and Sigfried Aragona, first year Honors Nursing major from Lansdale, who captured Fourth Place Overall.
Individual awards went to:
Rebeka Yocum, who took First Place in Informative Speaking, First place in Persuasive Speaking, First Place in Dramatic Interpretation, First Place in Duo Interpretation with Kellen Kane, and Third Place in Prose Interpretation;
Kellen Kane, who won First Place in Program Oral Interpretation, First Place in Duo Interpretation with Kellen Kane, Second Place in Rhetorical Criticism, Third Place in Informative Speaking, and Fifth Place in Prose Interpretation;
Imani Thomas, who captured First Place in Prose Interpretation, Second Place in Program Oral Interpretation, Third Place in Rhetorical Criticism, Third Place in After Dinner Speaking, and Fourth Place in Poetry Interpretation;
Sigfried Aragona, who placed Second Place in Dramatic Interpretation, Second Place in Prose Interpretation, and Third Place in Program Oral Interpretation;
Emily Herman, sophomore Honors chemistry-biology premedical program major from West Chester, who was Fifth Place in After Dinner Speaking, Fifth Place in Poetry Interpretation, and Sixth Place in Extemporaneous Speaking;
Shila Scott, first year Honors history BSED major from West Chester, who earned Fourth Place in After Dinner Speaking and Fourth Place in Informative Speaking;
Chloe Neal, Doylestown junior communication studies major, who won Fourth Place in Program Oral Interpretation; and
Richie Fontanet, first year Honors history BSED major from East Stroudsburg, who took Sixth Place in After Dinner Speaking