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Texas State hosting American Forensic Association national tourney

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
April 5, 2012

The American Forensic Association’s 35th Annual National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) will be held at Texas State University-San Marcos April 6-9.

The tournament will draw 83 colleges and universities and more than 500 competitors from across the United States to compete for the national championship in 11 individual speaking events and the overall team championship.

Texas State becomes the fourth university in Texas to host the national tournament. Previous Texas hosts include the University of Texas at Austin, University of Texas at Arlington and Rice University.

Western Kentucky from Bowling Green, Ky., is the defending national champion but face serious challenges from Bradley, George Mason and the University of Texas.

Students must qualify for the tournament and compete in a variety of events including persuasive speaking, informative speaking, after dinner speaking and impromptu speaking. Other events involve interpretative readings of prose, poetry and dramatic literature.

Wayne Kraemer, director of forensics at Texas State, and host for this year’s AFA-NIET, said the competitors include some of the finest collegiate performers in the nation.

“When you see some of these students compete you will be astounded by their performance level,” Kraemer said. “The student competitors are exceptional and the final rounds at AFA-NIET are comparable to professional performances.”

Brett Gray, a Texas State junior communication major from Houston, finished in 5th place at last year’s AFA-NIET and is looking forward to competing again this year.

“While I was incredibly proud of my placement last year, I was also a little disappointed that I didn’t do better,” said Gray, “so I’ve set a goal of doing better this year on home turf.”

In fact, the Texas State is fielding an experienced team that includes five students who competed in last year’s nationals.

“With the tournament on our own campus we will have a comfort level that no other school will have,” said Brandon McCasland, a senior communication studies major from Bay City. “We won’t have the extra stress of finding buildings or wondering where our competition rooms are.”

The tournament will be headquartered in the LBJ Student Center on the Texas State campus and all competitions are open to the general public. Competition begins 8:45 a.m. April 7 and continues throughout the day. Preliminary rounds continue April 8 along with national quarterfinals. Semi-finals and final rounds will be held April 9 at the San Marcos Convention Center at the Embassy Suites Hotel.

The tournament sponsors include Texas State, the San Marcos Convention and Visitor Bureau, Embassy Suites Hotel and Hewlett Packard.