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Carson-Newman forensics team named state champions again

(Feb. 25, 2016) – Carson-Newman University’s forensics team captured its third consecutive state title at the Tennessee Intercollegiate Forensics Association Championship, Feb. 13-14.

It is also the eighth state championship in 10 years for Carson-Newman.
In winning the overall championship, the Carson-Newman squad also captured state debate and state individual events titles.

The competition held at Carson-Newman included Belmont University, East Tennessee State University, Middle Tennessee State University, Pellissippi State Community College, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Tech University, University of Tennessee and Walters State Community College.

Coach Chip Hall said he couldn’t be more pleased with his team’s performance. “This group never ceases to amaze me with their resilience, their talent, and their ability to stand up to whatever competition is put in front of them,” said Hall. “It wasn’t just a few team members carrying the load but, across the board, people were scoring points.”

In the varsity division, three of the four semifinalists were Carson-Newman teams. Juniors Louis Murray, Theresa Anderson and senior Katie Knight tied for the varsity championship.

David McConnell and Bethany Lemons earned state champion status in the novice division. McConnell was also named the state’s top novice debate speaker.

In the varsity division, Knight, Murray, Anderson and senior Nick Smith, earned four of the top five spots, with Smith being named top speaker in the state.

Carson-Newman’s team captured top honors in individual events as well. Along with being named the state’s top overall speaker, Murray was named champion in Extemporaneous Speaking, Impromptu Speaking and After Dinner Speaking. He also finished second in persuasive speaking qualifying him to be one of the two representatives from Tennessee to compete at the Interstate Oratorical Association National Championship.

The team had the top four places in Dramatic Interpretation, with Junior Kyle Summers winning the state championship. Summers was also state champion in Poetry Interpretation, while Anderson won the state championship in Informative Speaking.

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