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Forensics starts spring season strong

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The Bethel College forensics team started its spring season with a bang – a second-place sweepstakes trophy and its fifth and sixth members qualifying for the national tournament.

In the Hutchinson Community College section of the HCC and Sterling College Blue Dragon/Warrior Swing Tournaments, Saturday, Jan. 29, on the HCC campus, Natalie Stucky, sophomore from Moundridge, took first place in both Persuasive Speaking and Informative Speaking.

The win in the latter qualified her for the American Forensic Association-National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) in that event. AFA-NIET will be held this year at the University of Nebraska-Kearney in April.

Also on Jan. 29, Julia Miller, sophomore from Hesston, took second in Programmed Oral Interpretation; Audra Miller, sophomore from Hesston, was third in After Dinner Speaking and sixth in Oral Interpretation; Marike Stucky, freshman from Moundridge, finished third in Dramatic Interpretation and fifth in both Programmed Oral Interpretation and Poetry Interpretation; and C.J. Fischer, freshman from Newton, was fourth in Extemporaneous Speaking and sixth in Poetry Interpretation.

Aaron Rudeen, sophomore from Osage City, also competed in the HCC Tournament. Bethel College, one of 10 teams participating, took the second-place team sweepstakes trophy.

The next day, Sunday, Jan. 30, in the Sterling College section of the tournament (also at HCC), Marike Stucky finished first in Dramatic Interpretation, which qualified her for AFA-NIET in that event.

Audra Miller was fourth and Aaron Rudeen fifth in After Dinner Speaking. Natalie Stucky took fifth in Persuasive Speaking. Julia Miller finished sixth in both Prose Interpretation and Poetry Interpretation.

Bethel was one of 10 schools in the tournament.

Bethel now has six members of its forensics squad qualified for AFA-NIET in six different events.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2010-11 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States and is in the first tier in its category in the U.S. News & World Report annual ranking of “America’s Top Colleges” for 2011. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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