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Forensics comes home from Hutch with more nationals qualifiers

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College’s forensics team was back on the road and came home from a Hutchinson tournament with more national qualifiers.

The Threshers were among 19 total schools – from Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Missouri – competing in the Zombie Apocalypse, Feb. 7-8 on the campus of Hutchinson Community College.

On the first day (hosted by HCC), Bethel had a team placement of 6th.

Shaelyn Atwood, freshman from Sabetha, was 2nd in Communication Analysis; Cameron Ponce, sophomore from Elkhart, took 3rd in Program of Oral Interpretation (POI); Clinton Unruh, sophomore from Newton, finished 5th in Extemporaneous Speaking; and Kendra Gonzales, freshman from Minneapolis, was 7th in Prose Interpretation.

On the second day (hosted by Sterling College), Ponce took 2nd in Dramatic Interpretation and 3rd in POI. His finish in DI qualified him in that event for the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) in April.

Ponce was also the 4th-ranked individual speaker overall for Day 2.

Jacob Miller, sophomore from Westmoreland, was 2nd in Communication Analysis and 3rd in After Dinner Speaking. He qualified him for nationals in ADS, his third qualification so far.

AFA-NIET will be April 3-6 on the campus of Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

On the second day of the Zombie Apocalypse, Atwood was 4th in Prose Interpretation and 5th in Communication Analysis. Unruh again placed 5th in Extemporaneous Speaking and Gonzales took 7th in Dramatic Interpretation.

Bethel was the 4th-place team on Day 2.

Forensics head coach is Mallory Marsh, director of forensics, with assistance from Gail Stucky, co-director of libraries.

“Bethel placed 5th overall for the weekend, beating schools with much larger entries,” Marsh said. “This was a wonderful weekend to be a Thresher.”

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2014-15 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2014-15. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.