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Forensics 'nationals preview' is April 2

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – With eight members qualified for nationals in 11 events, the Bethel College forensics squad has wrapped up the 2011-12 regular season.

They are now concentrating on preparing for the American Forensic Association-National Individual Events Tournament, April 6-9 on the campus of Texas State University, San Marcos, says head coach John McCabe-Juhnke, professor of communication arts.

The squad will give their annual Nationals Preview Monday, April 2, at 7 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in the Fine Arts Center, which is free and open to the public.

Because of some last-minute withdrawals in District III, of which Bethel is a part, Brendan Bergen, freshman from Moundridge, will be making his first trip to nationals.

Back in Oklahoma Saturday, Feb. 25, for the second time in a month, Bethel had a highly successful day of forensics competition.

The team came home with second place (out of 14 schools) in the Individual Events Team Sweepstakes, with all Bethel competitors advancing to final rounds.

At the Oklahoma Intercollegiate Forensics Association Tournament on the campus of Oklahoma City University, Julia Miller, junior from Hesston, finished first in Persuasive Speaking, which qualified her for nationals in that event. She also took sixth place in Poetry Interpretation.

Aaron Rudeen, junior from Osage City, qualified for nationals in After Dinner Speaking, with a third-place finish in that event. He and Miller were fourth in Duo Interpretation.

Taylor Ambrosi, sophomore from Independence, Mo., was second in Informative Speaking and third in Dramatic Interpretation.

Chris Riesen, junior from Beatrice, Neb., finished third in Prose Interpretation and sixth in Dramatic Interpretation. He and Audra Miller, junior from Hesston, took fifth in Duo Interpretation.

Natalie Stucky, junior from Moundridge, was third in Persuasive Speaking, and Henry Unruh, sophomore from Newton, took fifth in Extemporaneous Speaking.

Saturday, March 3, Bethel hosted the District III American Forensic Association National Qualifying Tournament, and had five individuals or duos qualify for AFA-NIET.

Stucky was second in Persuasive Speaking and Unruh was second in Extemporaneous Speaking, which qualified them both for nationals in their respective events.

Two duos – Audra Miller and Chris Riesen, and Julia Miller and Aaron Rudeen – qualified in Duo Interpretation with third- and fourth-place finishes, respectively.

Brendan Bergen was seventh in both Informative Speaking and Persuasive Speaking. His finish in Informative Speaking qualified him as second alternate to AFA-NIET in that event.

Julia Miller also competed in Poetry Interpretation and took seventh place.

Bethel was one of 11 schools in the tournament. AFA’s District III covers the six-state region of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri.

Bethel will take eight students to nationals in 11 events: Brendan Bergen, Informative Speaking; Audra Miller, After Dinner Speaking and Duo Interpretation; Julia Miller, Persuasive Speaking and Duo Interpretation; Chris Riesen, Duo Interpretation; Aaron Rudeen, After Dinner Speaking and Duo Interpretation; Marike Stucky, sophomore from Moundridge, Dramatic Interpretation and Poetry Interpretation; Natalie Stucky, Informative Speaking and Persuasive Speaking; and Henry Unruh, Extemporaneous Speaking.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2011-12 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 2011-12. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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