Cedarville forensics team wins Ohio title


CEDARVILLE — Cedarville University’s forensics team came out on top at the Ohio Forensics Association Novice State Championship tournament Jan. 26-27 at Ohio University in Athens.

CU was in first place in its first speech and debate tournament of the spring semester, followed by Ohio University, Bowling Green State University and the University of Akron.

The Cedarville team placed four members in the top four, including Noah Hollenbach, a sophomore political science student from Moseley, Virginia, who won the debate category. Following Hollenbach in the debate category were Divine Gadi, a junior pharmacy student from Visahapatnam, India in second place; Bryn Golson, a sophomore history student from Knysna, South Africa, in third place; and Lily Ritter, a junior pre-law student from Meade, Kansas, in fourth place.

Five of Cedarville’s competitors also won individual speeches. Serine Warner, a junior psychology student from Westerville, Ohio, was awarded first place in the After Dinner Speaking category. Her teammate, Ritter, won first place for her speech in the News Broadcasting category.

Also, Nathanael Kolssak, a sophomore communication student from Winnetka, Illinois, was awarded first place in the Impromptu Speaking category. Gracie Eltiste, a freshman nursing student from Lakewood, Colorado, took first place in Prose Interpretation, and Em Seaver, a junior communication student from Ladson, South Carolina, won first place in Programmed Oral Interpretation.

In the varsity division, Erin Mitchell, a sophomore political science student from Roy, Washington, was the tournament champion in debate, going undefeated all weekend.

“The team’s success can be attributed to the hard work and time that they put into preparing for this tournament,” said Eric Mishne, assistant professor of communication and director of the forensics team.

Although these students were motivated by the competition of the championship tournament, competition is not the reason that they are so dedicated to their craft.

“The forensics team’s identity is excellence in competitive speech and debate for God’s glory,” said Mishne. “Students on the team grow in their public speaking and argumentation skills as well as build a strong community where they can learn together and share the love of Christ everywhere they go.”

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