Our Forensics students have shown championship skills at tournaments in January. In Lincoln January 23-24, UNO won Saturday and the overall sweepstakes results in the swing co-hosted by Nebraska-Lincoln and Kansas State.
Iven Mendoza and Cortney Griffith earned a first place, and Mendoza also had a solo first. Jacki Miller and Brian Robinson also won their events. Ryan Syrek, spouse of Coach Abbie Syrek, won a service award.
Iven Mendoza and Blaine Miller
Meanwhile, in a key test before Nationals January 16-17, a split squad of five competitors traveled to Austin, Texas for the 11th annual Hell Froze Over (HFO) swing hosted by Texas at Austin and Bradley University.
Forty schools and nearly 100 students competed and UNO advanced 12 competitors to semi-finals and six to finals. Cameron Logsdon was the poetry champion, as he made it to semi-finals in all five of his events. Allison Henri finished second in poetry during Saturday competition, as the UNO team finished in fourth place.
On Sunday, all five students advanced to the semi-final round. Henri made it in all five of her events. Logsdon again won an event. Tessie Stednitz was second in poetry. Sophomore Niveditha Rajagopalan made it to the semi-finals in two events. Robinson was a semi-finalist in the challenging impromptu competition, as the UNO team tied for fifth place out of 40 schools.
That same weekend, part of the team competed at Concordia. In Saturday competition, Blaine Miller won the dramatic interpretation and overall sweepstakes award. Mendoza and Griffith teamed for first places on both days. On Sunday, Miller won an individual sweepstakes, as the squad finished in third place.