Going to nationals

Forensics team will hold showcase before nationals

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Seven forensics students have qualified for nationals and will be traveling to the National Forensics Association Tournament in California later this month. But before they go, they will be hosting a showcase at 7 p.m. on April 11 in McGraw Hall room 101.

The showcase will be an opportunity for family, friends and the community to attend and see the performances that the students have been working on and will be performing in the tournament.

“I think we have good performances this year, and we’re really looking forward to see how we do on that national stage,” said their coach Kevin Hill, a UW-Whitewater alumnus who also did forensics in college.

This is Hill’s first year as the team’s coach alongside Brian Schanen, who also graduated from UW-W. Hill is confident that the team will do well at nationals like they have in the past.

“Historically we have a pretty good showing there, and we’re confident in our team,” Hill said.

This year the seven students who will be traveling to California are Jennifer Toone, Nicole Carter, Alexis Zello, Anna Messerschmidt, Logan Mchone, Emily Leong and Tessa Jaskolski.

Together they will be performing six events for Thursday’s showcase, five individual events and one duo. The topics they will be covering are all usually relevant to what is happening in society said Jennifer Toone, who is team president.

For many of the students, forensics has been a part of their lives for a long time and they use it as an opportunity to express themselves.

Junior Emily Leong started doing forensics in middle school, and she credits the forensics team as one of the reasons why she chose to attend UW-W.

Leong said she loved the activity from the start and has been committed to it ever since.

“It’s a great resource for expressing your opinions, and it’s really fun despite it sounding terrifying,” said Leong.

This year, Leong will be tackling serious topics such as environmental issues and gun violence in her performances.

Another student who has shown her commitment to forensics is Nicole Carter, who wasn’t sure if she was going to qualify this year since she spent last semester studying abroad. Despite having limited time, she is proud that her informative speech qualified and she will be performing it at nationals.

“I literally wrote it when I was in Africa, which is crazy,” said Carter.

Carter has done forensics since high school and loves doing it because of how useful it is. She said forensics has taught her how to calm her fears of public speaking, which she knows will be a good skill to have in the future.

“I’m just really excited to perform at nationals, and I’m proud of my teammates because everyone has been working really hard this season and put out really good stuff,” Carter said.

Toone, who has been to nationals in the past, is also really excited to attend this year. She said nationals is an experience like no other.

“The performances you get to see are just so incredible. People are so passionate and so kind. It’s going to be a really awesome week,” said Toone. “We just really love what we do.”

The students will be leaving for nationals April 17 and returning April 23.