Speech Competitors Place 14th at Nationals
Apr 05, 2011Concordia speech competitors rose above 84 other colleges and universities to place 14th in the American Forensic Association’s National Individual Events Tournament.
Twelve Concordia students traveled to the national competition at the University of Nebraska Kearney. Stephanie Villella ’11, Fargo, N.D., Andrew Eilola ’12, Eveleth, Minn., and Alexander MacArthur ’12, Marshall, Minn., all made the cut from the guaranteed preliminary round competition to single elimination finals. Villella reached the quarterfinals of the prose interpretation event while MacArthur reached the quarterfinals of dramatic interpretation. Their quarterfinal finish placed them among the top 24 competitors in the tournament.
Eilola advanced to the semifinals of persuasive speaking and then advanced again to the tournament final round, placing sixth in the nation. “I was so pleased to make it to the finals,” Eilola said. Making it to the finals meant delivering his persuasive speech about cutting military spending six times during the three-day competition. Eilola quickly moved past his personal accomplishments to talk about the excitement for the Concordia team. “We have very high goals throughout the year and we were excited to get into the top 15 benchmark,” Eilola said.
Villella also received a top award when she was named an All-American by the vote of the tournament governing committee. The All-American award is based on a student’s combined achievements in academic, competitive, and service realms.
“It was nice to be recognized for being academically inclined,” Villella said. “I felt like I was representing the college well.” Only 14 students earned All-American honors. More than 600 students participated in the competition.
Assistant director of forensics Megan Orcholski said because this is one of the few tournaments in which preliminary points count, how each person on the team did mattered. “We have superstars, but we have a lot of superstars,” Orcholski said. “We are not driven by one or two people.”