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Say what? National Forensics Tournament to be held at UNK in April
Ashley Leever
Antelope Staff
Courtesy Photo
UNK forensics team from left to right (Back row): Coach Grant Anderson; sophomore Amanda Sadd, art therapy major from Hastings; junior Robert Friedman, accounting major from Plattsmouth; junior Cassie Larreau, economics major from Kearney; sophomore James Selders, political science major from Omaha; and coach Rachelle Kamrath. (Front row): Coach David Fox; sophomore Trevor Woodward, business management major from Raymond; sophomore Emily Webb, aviation major from Dannebrog; freshman Shelby Smith, music major from Plattsmouth; sophomore Brooke Alstrom, communi

It is the Rose Bowl in the world of competitive forensics, says Rachelle Kamrath, UNK’s head coach of forensics.

The competition has been held across the nation from Los Angeles to Akron, Ohio. But for the first time ever, UNK will be hosting the National Forensics Tournament April 2-3, 2011.  

As the UNK forensics team blazes through their season, the extra workload of planning the national tournament has been added as one of many things on their to-do list. “It is a campus-wide effort.

The team has been helping as well as my two assistant coaches, Grant Anderson and David Fox have been a tremendous help. The Kearney Visitors Bureau and the Nebraska Intercollegiate Forensics Association have donated some funds. "We are using literally every conference and classroom on campus. Literally every building, every department has been helping. It’s hard to find a place on campus that isn’t involved,” Kamrath said.

In order to help prepare for this large event, UNK will be offering Speech 401, a special topics class focused on event planning. “We expect about 800 people on campus. In order to be fully prepared for this, delegating the responsibility and getting this class involved in what it means to plan and execute a full blown convention is the objective,” Kamrath said.

Along with bringing great recognition to UNK and its forensics team, the team feels honored to be the hosts of such an event. “This is the most prestigious and most difficult college national championship for forensics in the nation. It will give notoriety to our team, the department, UNK and the community,” Kamrath said.

Even with the added work of planning the national tournament, UNK’s forensics team has not slowed down. “We are very proud of our success so far. To have a competitively successful team in light of all the extra responsibilities they have is really astounding,” Kamrath said.

“We’ve had a good season so far. We have qualified several competitive events for the national tournament,” she said. “Three members on the team have already qualified for the national tournament and they have each done so in multiple events. Almost everyone is very close to qualifying. We have really just gotten started and we have such a long season to go.”

There are eight members on the team currently, but Kamrath expects their numbers to rise in the spring as they work on recruitment. UNK’s forensics team usually competes in roughly 30 events at each meet with each member competing in several events.

Throughout the season, the forensic team goes to 33 tournaments and travels 16 weekends from September to April. With a competitive season longer than any athletic team, UNK’s forensics team is constantly working towards bettering themselves at each tournament.
You can catch them in action right after Thanksgiving. The forensics team will host its invitational at UNK on December 4-5.

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