WEST CHESTER, PA — There are two new state champions at WCU, but they aren’t sports champions. They are members of West Chester University’s Speech and Debate Team.
At the annual Pennsylvania Forensics Association State Tournament held the weekend of Feb. 15-16 at Wilkes University, Abriana Gonzalez and Anna Hewitt won the state championship in Duo Interpretation.
Gonzalez, a fourth-year Honors College communications studies major from Elkins Park, PA, also took the championship in Program Oral Interpretation and placed second in Prose. Hewitt, a senior nursing major from Downingtown, PA, came in third in After Dinner Speaking. Their wins helped boost the team into third place overall at the tournament.
Their colleagues also finished well: Alex Moore, a junior Honors College communication sciences and disorders major from Billings, MT, placed fourth in Pentathlon, the individual sweepstakes category, plus third in Persuasion, third in Prose, fourth in Rhetorical Criticism, and fifth in Impromptu. Olivia Marquardt, a first-year English major from Lansdale, PA, placed fourth in Prose.
Alane Presswood, director of forensics, was very pleased with the results. “I am thrilled by the team’s continued tradition of excellence, especially in the face of such strong competition. The state tournament was considerably larger this year than it has been in years past, which is a great sign of growing interest in public discourse in the state of Pennsylvania. I cannot wait to see the students represent the very best of what Golden Rams can be during the upcoming 2020 national tournament season.”
The team is now preparing for the National Speech Championship hosted by George Mason University on March 21-22.
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