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Speech Team Wins Christian Nationals


Pictured L to R: Laura Bradford, Ellie Rink and Ashley Renee Honnold.

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. – Three members of the University of the Cumberlands speech and debate team traveled to California Baptist University in Riverside, Calif., to compete in the tenth annual National Christian College Forensics Association Tournament. Out of twenty competing schools, the team received First Place in Division Three Individual Events Sweepstakes. The partial team squad placed above many schools, including Bethany University, Concordia, George Fox University, Evangel, Saint Mary's College of California, Biola University, San Diego Christian University, Northwest Nazarene University, Howard Payne University and Ottowa University.

Coach Jay Bourne said, "I am tremendously happy with our showing at Christian Nationals. We had three national champions at this tournament. In fact, of all the events our students entered at this tournament, all but three reached finals and received awards.

In individual events, the three novice competitors received numerous awards. Senior Ashley Renee Honnold of Williamsburg was named national champion in dramatic interpretation, national champion in duo interpretation (with freshman Laura Bradford of Holland, Mich.), third place in after dinner speaking, fourth place in communication analysis, fourth place in faith interpretation, sixth place in program oral interpretation and fourth place in pentathlon for overall individual events.

Laura Bradford was national champion in duo interpretation and fifth in poetry interpretation. Junior Ellie Rink of Adrian, Mich., placed third in prose and seventh in faith interpretation.

Bourne added, “Our students performed exceptionally well and represented the University of the Cumberlands admirably. This is also the second time in three years that we have won individual event sweepstakes at Christian Nationals, and this is the third year in a row that we have had individual national champions."