KEARNEY – Five members of the University of Nebraska at Kearney Forensics Team will compete in this year’s American Forensics Association National Speech Tournament.
Darienne Blair of Valley, Jordan Delahunty of Ogallala, Avery Dutton of Lincoln, Dylan Hicks of Papillion and Justin Machard of Kearney qualified for the national event based on their performances in tournaments throughout the 2020-21 season.
The UNK students will compete in the following areas:
- Darienne Blair – persuasive speaking
- Jordan Delahunty and Justin Machard – program oral interpretation
- Avery Dutton – informative speaking
- Dylan Hicks – impromptu speaking
“It’s been a tough year for everyone due to the pandemic, but I’m grateful that our students were able to continue competing in a safe way this season. I’m very proud of all five members and how quickly they adapted to presenting online,” said Aaron Blackman, director of forensics at UNK and a lecturer in the department of communication.
Because of COVID-19, the entire season shifted online. The UNK Forensics Team participated in 11 asynchronous tournaments where they submitted recordings of their speeches and 11 synchronous tournaments where they competed live.
Originally scheduled to be hosted in Lincoln, the American Forensics Association National Speech Tournament is now planned as a virtual event, with qualifiers competing April 2-5.