FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 06, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications (304) 696-7153


Thundering Word finishes third in Ohio State tournament

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall University’s Thundering Word speech and debate team placed third in a field of 28 colleges and universities Sunday, Dec. 2, in the Ohio State Holiday Frolic Invitational in Columbus, Ohio. It was Marshall’s final tournament of the fall season.

“This is the best performance the young Thundering Word has had at a regional tournament in the five years I have been coaching,” said the team’s coach, Danny Ray. “Practically every ballot placed us in the top three in the round that scores points. Several squads that placed below us had 40 or more entries compared to Marshall’s 25.”

Western Kentucky was the overall champion and North Central College of Chicago was second. Marshall outscored several squads with much larger entries, including Ball State University, Carson-Newman College, Lafayette College, Ohio State University, University of Akron, Illinois State University, Miami University, Marion University, Wayne State University and the Universities of Cincinnati, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and the Pacific. Every student from Marshall scored points in the preliminary rounds which helped propel the team into third place.

Students who traveled to Columbus were:

Christian Adams, honors student and junior Psychology/Biomedical Sciences major from Ona, W.Va., placed fourth in Poetry Interpretation and third in Dramatic Duo Interpretation with Victoria Ledford. Adams also competed in Prose Interpretation.

Josh Gainer, a junior Political Science major from Parkersburg, W.Va., was the tournament champion in Novice Poetry Interpretation. He also placed third in Novice Prose and fifth in Novice Dramatic Interpretation.

Victoria Ledford, honors student and junior Chemistry/Pre-med major from Braxton, W.Va., was fifth in Individual Sweepstakes. This is a special honor for students who compete in all genres. They must have at least one event in oral interpretation of literature, one event in limited preparation and one event in public address. Ledford also placed third in Dramatic Duo with Adams. She also scored points in Persuasion, Impromptu, Informative and Rhetorical Criticism.

Taryss Mandt, a University College student from Arlington, Va., and former national champion in Oral Interpretation at the National Catholic High School Forensic Tournament, placed third in Novice Dramatic Interpretation. Mandt also competed in Informative Speaking and Programmed Oral Interpretation.

Eric Newfeld, a junior transfer student from Barboursville, W.Va., was the tournament champion in Novice Extemporaneous Speaking and scored points in Impromptu Speaking.

Matthew Osteen, an honors student and a sophomore Biochemistry major from Jefferson, W.Va., was second in Novice Extemp. He also competed in Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Rhetorical Criticism and Impromptu Speaking.

Garrett Walker, a sophomore Sociology/Anthropology major from Greensboro, N.C., was second in Novice Impromptu Speaking and scored points in Extemp and Informative Speaking.

Juliet Djietror, a freshman International Student/Pre-medical sciences major originally from Ghana, placed fourth in Novice Prose Interpretation. Djietror, the daughter of Geography professor Dr. Godwin Djietror, also competed in Persuasion.

Competing in her first tournament was honors student Marjorie McCoy, a freshman Chemistry major from Beckley, W.Va., who reached the finals in both Novice Prose and Novice Persuasion.

Marshall has qualified 19 slots for next spring’s national tournament. They are:

  • Christian Adams – Prose, Poetry and Duo.
  • Victoria Ledford – Rhetorical Criticism, Persuasion, Poetry and Duo.
  • Joshua Gainer – Prose, Poetry and Dramatic Interpretation.
  • Taryss Mandt – Informative and Dramatic Interpretation
  • Eric Newfeld – Extemp and Impromptu.
  • Matt Osteen – Lincoln Douglas Debate and Extemp
  • Garrett Walker – Impromptu
  • Juliet Djietror – Prose
  • Erin Jorden – Poetry

Marshall’s team will travel to Butler University in Indianapolis, Ind., and Webster University in St. Louis in January.



For further information, contact:  Office of University Communications
Marshall University | 213 Old Main | Huntington, WV 25755-1090
Fax: (304) 696-3197