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2011.03.01 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: cdreed@unomaha.edu

First-Place UNO Forensics Team to Host Tournament at UNO

Omaha - The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) and University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) forensics teams will be hosting two tournaments the weekend of March 5-6.

The last regular season tournaments of the season will be held on both campuses across the two days. The March 5 tournament will be held on the UNL campus while the March 6 tournament will be held on the UNO campus. Both days’ events will starts at 8 a.m. and conclude with awards presented at 5 p.m. The UNO tournament will be held in the Arts and Sciences Hall on the east end of campus.

The UNO forensics team recently took home two first-place team awards and seven individual state championships at the Nebraska Intercollegiate Forensics Association State (NIFAS) tournament in Hastings, Neb on Feb. 19.

The first-place finish was a first in school history for a team that has been ranked nationally for the last four years - eighth (2010), 13th (2009, 2008) and 25th (2007). To achieve first place, the team had to defeat other teams from across the state including the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Doane College, both of which were ranked in the top 20 in last year’s American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET).

"Winning the 2011 state championship was very humbling, considering the top-caliber competition in our state,” UNO Coach Abbie Syrek said. “The state of Nebraska has a long history of excellence. It was an honor to compete with the amazing schools across the state."

At the NIFAS tournament, UNO was given the award for “Top Individual Events Program” as the best team at the competition and the “Quality Award” which is awarded to the team that scores the most points given the size of their entry.

Invididually, UNO fielded seven state champions out of eleven competitive events, also a school record: Allison Henri (Poetry, Informative Speaking); Niveditha Rajagopalan (Communication Analysis); Cameron Logsdon (Program of Oral Interpretation); Cameron Logsdon and Iven Mendoza (Duo Interpretation) and Ivan Mendoza (Dramatic Interpretation, Prose Interpretation).

Also, as a second-place finisher in the Persuasive Speaking category, Niveditha Rajaopalan has qualified to compete in the Interstate Oratory Competition at James Madison University in Virginia. The competition is the oldest speaking competition in North America.

In addition to hosting one of the two tournaments, the team will also be hosting a showcase of student competitors on March 30 on campus.

For more information on the forensics team, contact Abbie Syrek at (402) 554.3952 or by e-mail at asyrek@unomaha.edu

A full list of UNO’s results at NIFAS are below:

Poetry
Cameron Logsdon - 4th place
Cole Evans - 3rd place (also Top Novice)
Iven Mendoza - 2nd place
Allison Henri - State Champion

Communication Analysis
Hope Stanley - Top Novice
Blaine Miller - 7th place
Niveditha Rajagopalan - State Champion

Program of Oral Interpretation
Cole Evans - 8th place (also Top Novice)
Allison Henri - 6th place
Iven Mendoza - 4th place
Tessie Stednitz - 2nd place
Cameron Logsdon - State Champion

Extemporaneous Speaking
Niveditha Rajagopalan - 6th place

Duo Interpretation
Blaine Miller/Cole Evans - 4th place
Allison Henri/Tessie Stednitz - 2nd place
Cameron Logsdon/Iven Mendoza - State Champions

After Dinner Speaking
Joy Kathurima - Top Novice
Stephanie Larsen - 5th place
Niveditha Rajagopalan - 2nd place

Informative Speaking
Niveditha Rajagopalan - 3rd place
Allison Henri - State Champion

Prose Interpretation Cole Evans - 3rd place (also Top Novice)
Iven Mendoza - State Champion

Impromptu Speaking
Brian Robinson - 2nd place

Dramatic Interpretation
Traelon Graham - 5th place (also Top Novice)
Tessie Stednitz - 4th place Cameron Logsdon - 2nd place
Iven Mendoza - State Champion

Persuasive Speaking
Brian Robinson - 4th place
Niveditha Rajagopalan - 2nd place

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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