WKU Forensics Team wins 2021 KFA State Tournament

From left: WKU Forensics Team members Reginald Jefferson, Daliss Hicks and Joseph Eberle.
From left: WKU Forensics Team members Reginald Jefferson, Daliss Hicks and Joseph Eberle.(WKU)
Published: Feb. 17, 2021 at 5:43 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The WKU Forensics Team won the 2021 Kentucky Forensic Association State Tournament hosted virtually by Western Kentucky University Feb. 10-14.

In the 13 speech categories, WKU students captured 12 state titles. Sophomore Jo Headrick was recognized as the tournament’s top competitor in speech for her success across four different events.

WKU also swept both debate events, including a program first close-out of the semifinal (top four) of Parliamentary (NPDA) debate.

Seven WKU students won speaker awards in debate, including junior Madelynn Einhorn who was named the top speaker in NPDA Debate and sophomore Miles Morton who won top speaker in International Public Debate (IPDA.)

In recognition of these collective efforts, WKU topped the Large School Sweepstakes category in Individual Events and Debate and ultimately was crowned the Kentucky Forensics Association Grand Champion for the 29th consecutive year.

WKU Director of Forensics Ganer Newman was proud of the team’s results. “Our students put in a lot of effort preparing for the state tournament, including learning new events we do not regularly compete in during the season. These challenges are all compounded by the virtual competitive environment this season,” he said.

Despite the state title, the season is far from over. “We are pleased with our state championship, but we remain focused on achieving all of our team goals. Last year, we did not get the opportunity to defend our 2019 AFA National Championship or reclaim the NFA National Championship title but that is our goal this season. We have a lot of work to do to put the team in the best position possible to make it happen,” Newman said.

The team will compete this weekend at a virtual tournament hosted by McKendree University.

Results from the Kentucky Forensics Association State Tournament are as follows:


  • IPDA Speaker Awards:  Ben Hanson of Louisville, 9th; Madelynn Einhorn of Dayton, Ohio, 4th; Tess Welch of Houston, Texas, 2nd; Miles Morton of Sherman Oaks, California, 1st.
  • IPDA: Ben Hanson, Top 8, Tess Welch Top 4, Madelynn Einhorn Top 4, Miles Morton State Champion.
  • NPDA Speaker Awards: Symone Whalin of Sonora, 7th; Isaac Keller of Kansas City, Missouri, 6th; Andre Swai of Springfield, Missouri, 5th; Tess Welch, 4th; Miles Morton, 3rd; Ben Hanson, 2nd; Madelynn Einhorn, 1st.
  • NPDA: Miles Morton and Symone Whalin, Co-State Champions; Ben Hanson and Isaac Keller, Co-State Champions; Madelynn Einhorn and Andre Swai, Co-State Champions; Tess Welch and Rahmane Dixon, Co-State Champions.


  • After Dinner Speaking: Jo Headrick of Wadsworth, Ohio, 3rd; Reese Johnson of Burnsville, Minnesota, 2nd; Emma Warnecke of San Antonio, Texas, State Champion.
  • Communication Analysis: Caitlyn Woitena of Houston, Texas, 2nd; Corey Newsome of Morehead, State Champion.
  • Dramatic Interpretation: Jo Headrick, 3rd; Tayland Ratliff of Youngsville, Louisiana, 2nd; Reggie Jefferson of Houston, Texas, State Champion.
  • Duo Interpretation: Caitlyn Woitena and Kelly Lingen of Lakeville, Minnesota, 2nd; Reese Johnson and Jo Headrick, State Champion.
  • Editorial Impromptu: Madelynn Einhorn, 3rd; Miles Morton, 2nd; Isaac Keller, State Champion.
  • Extemporaneous Speaking: Joey Eberle of Maple Grove, Minnesota, 3rd; Tani Washington of Henrico, Virginia, 2nd; Isaac Keller, State Champion.
  • Impromptu Speaking: Ben Hanson, 4th; Miles Morton, 3rd; Andre Swai, 2nd; Isaac Keller, State Champion.
  • Informative Speaking: Kellin Robinson of Roseville, Minnesota, 3rd; Emma Warnecke, 2nd; Jo Headrick, State Champion.
  • Persuasion: Naomi Desrosiers of Bowling Green, 6th; Autumn Howard of Hendersonville, Tennessee, 4th; Caitlyn Woitena, 3rd; Paige Allbright of Youngsville, Louisiana, 2nd; Derek Collins of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, State Champion.
  • Poetry: Stefani Giles of Hodgenville, 5th; Ryan Gosling of West Palm Beach, Florida, 4th; Tani Washington, 3rd; Reggie Jefferson, 2nd; Emma Warnecke, State Champion.
  • Program Oral Interpretation: Stefani Giles, 4th; Kellin Robinson, 3rd; Paige Allbright, 2nd; Corey Newsome, State Champion.
  • Prose: Samantha Sallee of Danville, 4th; Daliss Hicks of Miramar, Florida, 3rd; Tayland Ratliff, 2nd; Rickey Williams of Minneapolis, Minnesota, State Champion.
  • Radio Broadcasting: Kelly Lingen, 3rd; Andre Swai, 2nd.

More: Check out the WKU Forensics Facebook page or follow @wkuforensics  and @DebateWku on Twitter.

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