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Third Thresher qualifies for the forensics national tournament

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Another first-time competitor in forensics for Bethel College is now looking forward to a trip to the national tournament next spring.

Four students traveled to Hastings, Nebraska, Nov. 14-15, for the Broncolope Swing Tournament hosted by Hastings College and the University of Nebraska-Kearney.

All four advanced to finals in at least one of their events over the two days.

Shekhinah Jones, sophomore from Salina who transferred this year from the University of Kansas, took the tournament championship in Persuasion, which gave him the score to qualify that event to the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) in April.

On Day 1, Candy Dao, freshman from Salina, made it to tournament finals for the first time as a Bethel Thresher and collegiate competitor in both Prose Interpretation and a brand-new event for her, Dramatic Interpretation.

Bethel was one of 10 schools competing on the first day.

Clinton Unruh, junior from Newton, was 6th in Impromptu Speaking, while Autumn Masters, junior from Newton, took 5th in Poetry Interpretation and 6th in Program of Oral Interpretation (POI).

Jones finished 2nd in Poetry Interpretation, 4th in Persuasion and 6th in Prose Interpretation. Dao was 5th in Dramatic Interpretation, 7th in Prose Interpretation and “Next Out” in Poetry Interpretation.

On Day 2, nine schools including Bethel competed.

In addition to finishing 1st in Persuasion, Jones was 5th in Poetry Interpretation.

Masters took 5th in POI. Unruh was “Next Out” in Extemporaneous Speaking and Dao in Poetry Interpretation.

As the fall tournament season wraps up, Bethel now has three students qualified for nationals in five different events.

AFA-NIET will be held April 2-4, 2016, at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2015-16 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 2015-16. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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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.