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Bethel forensics squad has strong showings in recent tournaments

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HUTCHINSON, KAN. – The Bethel College forensics squad qualified speakers for the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) in three more events, while Bethel debaters brought home a Kansas championship, following competition at Hutchinson Community College Feb. 17-18.

In addition, Jonathan Nathan, junior from Moundridge, was named state champion in extemporaneous speaking at the Kansas Championship Individual Events Forensics Tournament. He also placed 4th in impromptu speaking at that tournament, where Bethel competed against nine other schools.

Other individual winners were Robert Weaver, senior from Wichita, 2nd place in programmed oral interpretations and 6th place in poetry interpretation; Justin Shook, senior from Lyons, 2nd place in extemporaneous speaking; Matthew N. Stucky, freshman from Moundridge, 3rd place in informative speaking; Lewis Kosjer and Josh Powell, freshmen from Douglass and Basehor, respectively, 3rd place in duo interpretation; and Jamie Lugo, junior from Wichita, 5th place in prose interpretation.

Overall, the Bethel squad placed 4th in the team sweepstakes and Shook, Stucky, Kosjer and Powell qualified for AFA-NIET in their events.

At the Kansas Parliamentary Debate Championships, Becky Schulz, sophomore from Newton, took the 2nd place speaker award and Stucky the 5th place speaker award. The team of Shannon Carey, junior from Moundridge, and Shook finished the event as the 2nd place team. The team of Stucky and Weaver made it to semifinals. This overall showing put the Threshers on top as Kansas champions in the parliamentary debate team sweepstakes.

The Threshers also did well at the Border Wars Invitational Forensics Tournaments on the campus of Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, Feb. 2-4, hosted by KW and Drury University of Springfield, Mo., with 21 schools competing.

In the KW Debate Tournament, Feb. 2, the team of Cory Buchta, junior from Newton, and Schulz made it to quarterfinals in parliamentary debate. In the KW Individual Events Tournament, Feb. 3, Weaver brought home two 1st place trophies, in extemporaneous speaking and impromptu speaking, as well as 5th place in poetry interpretation. Stucky placed 4th in impromptu speaking and Shook 5th in extemporaneous speaking.

At the Drury University Individual Events Tournament, Feb. 4, Stucky was 2nd in both impromptu speaking (qualifying him for AFA-NIET in that event) and informative speaking. Weaver was 4th in impromptu speaking.

Overall, the Threshers placed 4th in both the KW and Drury tournaments.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and has been named a Top Tier college by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1998. For more information, see the Bethel web site at

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