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Bethel qualifies two more for nationals at HCC-Sterling tournament

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – A strong showing by a small squad in debate and forensics resulted in a first-place showing in overall results for Bethel College and two more students qualified for the national forensics tournament.

The Threshers competed against 11 other schools in the 2009 Blue Dragon-Warrior Forensics and Debate Invitational Tournaments, hosted by Hutchinson Community College and Sterling College on the HCC campus, Jan. 30-Feb. 1.

At the HCC Blue Dragon Debate Tournament, held Friday, Jan. 30, the team of Becky Buchta, senior from Newton, and Brian Skinner, freshman from Clay Center, took 4th place in Parliamentary Debate.

Sarah Pohl, freshman from Moundridge, placed 2nd in Dramatic Interpretation at the HCC Blue Dragon Individual Events Tournament, Saturday, Jan. 31, which qualified her for the American Forensic Association-National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET). Pohl also took 3rd place in Prose Interpretation.

Alex Stucky, freshman from Moundridge, took 2nd place in Extemporaneous Speaking at the same tournament and also qualified for nationals. He finished 5th in After Dinner Speaking.

Skinner was 5th in Impromptu Speaking and Buchta 6th in Persuasive Speaking at the tournament.

On Sunday, Feb. 1, at the Sterling College Warrior Individual Events Tournament, Stucky too 4th place in After Dinner Speaking, Skinner 5th place in Impromptu Speaking and 6th place in Extemporaneous Speaking, and Buchta 6th place in Persuasive Speaking.

Schools whose squads competed in all three days were part of the Blue Dragon-Warrior Swing, for which Bethel College received 1st place in the Overall Sweepstakes.

His fellow coaches chose Thresher forensics coach John McCabe-Juhnke, professor of communication arts, to receive the Blue Dragon Award, which is presented for judging.

Pohl and Stucky join Julia Huxman, freshman from Wichita, and Matthew Stucky, junior from Moundridge, as qualifiers thus far from Bethel for AFA-NIET 2009, to be held at the University of Akron April 3-6.

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 was the only Kansas private college to be ranked in’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2008 and one of only two Kansas colleges listed in Colleges of Distinction 2008-09. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at

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