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CSU-Pueblo forensics team wins tourney, national qualification

Release Date: November 07, 2016

Cora Zaletel

Executive Director, External Affairs

Colorado State University-Pueblo


Press Release

PUEBLO - The Colorado State University-Pueblo Forensics Team won the open division of the 47th Annual Trapper Rendezvous held at Northwest Community College in Powell, WY and a duo qualified for the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence (NPTE). The Trapper Rendezvous is the team's first tournament championship under the direction of Kathryn Starkey.

CSU-Pueblo competed with three teams in parliamentary debate. In the open, or varsity, division, Sophomore Max Groznik (Lake Oswego, OR) and sophomore Nate Graziano (Fort Collins) earned a perfect 6-0 record in preliminary rounds, while junior Eliana Taylor (Longmont) and sophomore Brianna Heifner (Canon City) earned a 5-1. Both teams competed in the semifinal round, and after victories by both teams, CSU-Pueblo closed out the final round, earning a first place finish by Graziano/Groznik and a second place finish by and Heifner/Taylor.

Not only did the team finish first in the open division of debate, but in the novice division, Kalvin Hessling (Broomfield)and Melodie Lamborn (Canon City) also were crowned tournament champions, earning a victory over Northwest College in finals.

Forensics tournaments rank individual debaters on their speaking ability throughout the weekend. Those scores are calculated to produce the top 10 speakers of the tournament. During the awards ceremony, Heifner took 5th speaker, Taylor took 3rd speaker, Groznik took 2nd speaker, and Graziano was named top speaker of the tournament.

The team also competed in three different speech events. In just his second collegiate tournament, freshman Jacob Ward (Trinidad) made it to the final round in persuasion with his speech on campaign finance laws in the United States. After a thrilling final round with five other competitors, Ward took first place in the event. Groznik also competed in Extemporaneous Speaking, earning a sixth place finish in the final round.

"The entire team has worked incredibly hard to achieve the success they had this weekend. I am truly proud of the commitment of each and every student on the team, said Starkey.

In addition to the competitive success earned by the team at the tournament, this weekend marks an important season milestone for Graziano & Groznik. To qualify to the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence, teams must accumulate at least 18 points during the regular season. Teams accrue points at tournaments based on their preliminary record and the number of wins achieve in elimination rounds. Following this tournament, the pair has 21.2 points, earning them a First Round bid to the NPTE in March, 2017.

The team is now preparing for its last invitational tournament of the fall semester, December 2-4, at Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs, WY.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.

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