Forensics team takes awards in for tournaments this weekend

Anna Lawson

The WKU Forensics Team has started this season at full force.

Over the past weekend, the team competed in four competitions in Illinois and Pennsylvania. They were dominant in each of their competitions, bringing home a slew of awards.

Competitions were held against five team members who each had 10 minutes to give their performance. Judges then ranked the competitors, and the top six speakers from each event advanced.

At the Illinois competitions the team took home the title of Sweepstakes Champions.

However, the success the team has found does not come easy.

Davie, Fla. junior Kristina Medero spends three hours a day practicing for her speeches. The team practices in front of coaches, fellow teammates and on their own.

Members also have to make sure they are prepared for all three presentation genres: interpretation, public announcement, and limited preparation, Medero said.

While she acknowledges that it can be stressful, Medero said she makes time because she is passionate. “Tournaments in general are incredible. It’s an experience I’ve only been able to understand in speech,” she said. “A group of passionate young people that want to get their arguments listened to in a place that gives that opportunity is simply amazing. There’s no other place like it.” Jace Lux, director of Forensics, said he has a real passion for the Forensics team. He feels that students benefit in many ways, especially within academics.

“I think the forensics team is important academically because it teaches students to be stronger researchers, writers, persuaders and critical thinkers, and it gives them the confidence to verbally present their ideas and arguments in an effective way,” he said.

However, the participants also finds a sense of family with the team.

“The forensics team is a family away from home. I love them,” Medero said. “It’s a group of some of the most talented people in the country that care about their community on both a local and global scale. We advocate for change. We talk about the problems plaguing the world and new innovations to amend those problems.”

The team plans to keep their winning streak.

“For the future, I want this team to continue to be a bright spot at the university. I want to make WKU proud,” Lux said.  “As I tell our team all throughout the year, our ultimate goal is to win the national championship in April.”

Lux wants to help keep the team grounded and remember it is a community and a way to benefit academically rather than win every competition.

“There’s a big difference between having winning as the ultimate goal and winning being the only thing you care about,” he said. “When winning is the only thing you care about, you’ll do whatever it takes, even if it’s not completely above board.

“I want our students to win, but I want them to do so ethically and with dignity, knowing they gave their best.”

Medero said that hard work and support are important.

“You support your team no matter the outcome and you give your best because the team is relying on you,” she said.

Speech gives competitors like Medero a chance to express their ideas and compete for something they are truly passionate about.

“When it is over, I’ll miss the amazing people, I’ll miss the competitive atmosphere, but I’ll mostly miss the ability to truly speak my mind,” she said.