CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University's forensics team played host to the American Forensics Association District II Regional Qualifier this past weekend. The tournament featured nine schools from the Northwest, including Lewis and Clark College, Pacific University, and Carroll College of Helena, Mont.

The tournament provided students with a chance to qualify for the prestigious National Individual Events Tournament to be held this year at the University of Minnesota, Eau Claire, on April 2-4.

"Our team demonstrated the right amount of competitive spirit and teamwork," said Mark Porrovecchio, director of the OSU team and regional chairman for the American Forensics Association.

The seniors led the team with impressive results:

  • Senior Morgan Mansker of Sisters qualified for nationals in impromptu speaking and prose interpretation;
  • Senior Forest Ledbetter of Sheridan qualified in impromptu speaking and after-dinner speaking;
  • Senior David Kubota of Forest Grove qualified in after-dinner speaking and prose interpretation;
  • Senior Andrew Leder of Albany qualified in extemporaneous speaking.
  • Junior Loni Sturm of Albany qualified in extemporaneous speaking and was first alternate in persuasive speaking,
  • Junior Kyle Bidwell of Sumner, Wash qualified in extemporaneous speaking and was first alternate in program oral interpretation.
  • Freshman Afina Neunzert of Tigard qualified in persuasive speaking.
  • Freshman Patrick Chambers of Redmond was first alternate in informative speaking.
  • Freshman Antonio DiMicco of Hillsboro was second alternate in persuasive speaking.

Unfortunately, not everyone who qualifies will get to attend and alternates fill in only if a qualified competitor drops out. Porrovecchio chose Mansker and Ledbetter to represent the team at the national tournament in April.

"I would take everyone if it was a simple matter of spirit and desire," Porrovecchio said. "Ledbetter and Mansker are seniors who deserve this opportunity."

Other OSU students still get a chance to experience national-level competition. Before the April national event in Montana, the team heads to the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament hosted by Gustavus Adolphus of St. Claire, Minn., on March 19-21. The team will be represented by Mansker, Ledbetter, Kubota, Sturm, Bidwell, Dalicia Fennell of Sutherlin, and Mayuko Miyamoto of Tokyo.

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Mark Porrovecchio, 541-737-8230