Hastings College organized the Bronco Bash forensics tournament on Feb. 23 and 24 in the Morrison-Reeves Science Center. The tournament marks the third-to-last tournament before the American Forensics Association National Individual Event Tournament (AFA-NIET).
First-year students were the only competitors on the first day of the tournament, which was hosted by the HC forensics team. The second day was open to all competitors and was hosted by HC forensics alumni.
Over the weekend, all students qualified for the AFA-NIET, which will be held April 4-7 at the University of Alabama. According to Amanda Cox, traveling coach and forensics alumna, this is the earliest that all students have qualified for nationals in a long time. “We haven’t had everybody qualified for nationals this early in years so that’s really good.” Cox said. The first-year Broncos took fourth place on the first day, with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln taking first. The Broncos then took first out of eight teams on the second day.
First-year Claire Nelson took third in dramatic interpretation, second in impromptu and third in persuasive on the first day. She then took first in dramatic interpretation and second in persuasive on the second day.
First-year Sam Johnson took third in extemporaneous speaking on the first day. Nathan Navratil, junior, came in second for dramatic interpretation the second day. Junior Elizabeth Hanson and Navratil took first for duo interpretation the second day. Junior Alli Kennon took second in informative the second day. Junior Jadah Morrison took first in persuasive and prose on the second day. Sophomore Sam Burke took first in poetry on the second day.
The Bronco Bash forensics tournament included a campfire theme this year — a reference to the Bronco’s pre-competition ritual.
“It’s one of my favorite tournaments just because it really highlights how impactful Hastings College has been in the forensics community. You have all of these schools coming from different, highly esteemed colleges and states to compete, who all have Hastings College alumni on them,” Cox said. “It’s like coming home.”
Attending alumni included Aaron Blackman, director of forensics (DoF) at University of Nebraska at Kearney, Nathaniel Wilson, DoF at Doane University and Darren Epping, DoF at Kansas State University.