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SMSU Forensics Wins Limited Entry State Championship

Published Tuesday, February 23, 2021

An extremely young Southwest Minnesota State University Forensics team took the Minnesota Collegiate Forensics Association (MCFA) Limited Entry division state championship on Feb. 21.

SMSU had a team of eight participants, and all were either freshmen or sophomores.

“Two years ago, none of these Forensics members were on the team, “ said Ben Walker, Director of Forensics and Associate Professor of Communication Studies.

The state tournament was held virtually, and SMSU participants competed via Zoom in various rooms in Charter Hall on campus. “We started at 7 a.m. and went until 7 p.m.,” said Walker. “Our students participated in separate rooms, and we were able to get back together in the lecture halls. We wore our masks, played games and had fun, like we do during a normal tournament experience. We watched our finalists on the big screen, as we weren’t allowed to go into the rooms they were speaking. It was a lot of fun for the whole team.”

Two freshmen led the way for SMSU. Alex Duus, a Communication Studies major from Tyler, Minn., finished second in Poetry Interpretation, and Devyn Halvorson, an English Education major from Devils Lake, N.D., was second in Communication Analysis.

Other placers included:

  • Jenna Zeug, sophomore, History Education major, Marshall, Minn., and Dominique McPhail, freshman, Theatre major, Murdock, Minn., placed third in Duo Interpretation;
  • Zeug placed fourth in Informative Speaking;
  • Colten Jensen, sophomore Theatre major from Sanborn, Minn., placed fifth in After Dinner Speaking.

Also competing for SMSU were freshmen Stephen Zimmer, Marketing major from Marshall,  Minn.; Theresa Yahr, Special Education major from Jordan, Minn.; and Jackie Wisinski, Agricultural Communication major from Stevens Point, Wis.

Walker said he is very proud of his precocious Mustangs. “They are very new to college Forensics, and they are picking things up quickly,” he said. “I think that this year, when our students were looking for ways to be part of the Mustang family, Forensics has offered them a place to connect and feel like home. I’m so happy for them. They worked hard for this honor.”

The Limited Entry division is for colleges and universities with smaller teams, said Walker.

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