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Two freshmen qualify for forensics nationals

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The Bethel College forensics team is back in action as the spring season begins, and has qualified two of its freshman competitors for nationals.

In the first half of the Hutchinson Community College-Sterling College Swing Tournament, hosted by HCC Jan. 30-31, Bethel was one of nine schools competing.

Brandon Schwager, junior from Lawrence and a transfer this semester from the University of Kansas, took first in Extemporaneous Speaking. Dana Daugharthy, senior from Iola, and Taylor McCabe-Juhnke, sophomore from North Newton, were second in Duo Interpretation. Julia Miller, freshman from Hesston, finished sixth in Programmed Oral Interpretation. Freshmen Audra Miller, Hesston, and Natasha Orpin and Natalie Stucky, both from Moundridge, also competed.

In the second half of the tournament, with Bethel one of eight schools competing, Schwager was second in Extemporaneous Speaking and sixth in Impromptu Speaking and Julia Miller was second in Programmed Oral Interpretation. Audra Miller finished fourth in After Dinner Speaking and, teaming with Aaron Rudeen, freshman from Osage City, sixth in Duo Interpretation. Orpin and Stucky also competed.

February 6-7, Bethel took part in the Border Wars Swing Tournament (Kansas Wesleyan University and Metro Community College, Omaha, with KWU hosting). On Saturday, Bethel was one of 18 schools competing and on Sunday, one of 13.

On Saturday, Heather Garrison, senior from Haysville, finished second in Prose Interpretation. With a third-place finish in Programmed Oral Interpretation, Julia Miller qualified in the event for the American Forensic Association-National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET). Stucky took fourth in Informative Speaking, which qualified her for nationals in that event.

On Sunday, Garrison took fourth in Dramatic Interpretation and fifth in Prose Interpretation. Stucky was fourth in Communication Analysis and sixth in Informative Speaking. Sarah Unruh, sophomore from Raytown, Mo., also competed both days.

AFA-NIET will be held at Minnesota State University, Mankato, April 2-4. Bethel has now qualified five students – in addition to Julia Miller and Natalie Stucky, Julia Huxman, sophomore from Wichita, Alex Stucky, junior from Moundridge, and Matt Stucky, senior from Moundridge (in two events).

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. 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 2009 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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