Doane College Forensics Team Earns 11th Place at National Tournament

Doane Finishes Tournament as the Nation's Highest-Ranked Liberal Arts College  

The Doane Forensics Team placed 11th and finished the highest-ranked liberal arts college nationwide at the American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament, April 3-6 at the University of Akron-Ohio.  Eighty colleges and universities from throughout the country attended the tournament, which does not include divisions based on school size.    This was the highest ranking ever for the Doane program, which is only nine years old. Doane was one of four Nebraska teams placing in the tournament's top 15 - more than any other state in the nation.   The AFA-NIET is the most elite national forensics tournament -- less than 10 percent of all students who compete in college speech ever qualify.  Doane qualified all of its team members in multiple events.

Doane senior Zach Blackman of Valparaiso, was selected for the tournament's All-American Team, which includes 12-16 students each year based on academics, forensics awards, and community service.  This is the fourth consecutive year a Doane student was selected for the All-American Team.

Three Doane team members advanced to the final rounds, which include the top six performers in each event:

  • Travis Williamson (senior, Crete) and Anne DeLuca (sophomore, Omaha), earned 5th place in Duo Interpretation out of 108 entries.
  • Zach Blackman (senior, Valparaiso) earned 5th place in Communication Analysis out of 111 entries. 
  • Doane had seven events advance to quarter-final rounds, which include the top 24 competitors in each event out of 100-160 entries:

    • Amanda Bouc, sophomore, Valparaiso, Informative Speaking
    • Travis Williamson, senior, Crete, and Anne DeLuca, sophomore, Omaha, Duo Interpretation
    • Anne DeLuca, Program Oral Interpretation
    • Travis Williamson, Drama Interpretation
    • Travis Williamson, Poetry Interpretation
    • Brent Friedeman, senior, Raymond, Poetry Interpretation
    • Zach Blackman, Communication Analysis

    Doane took 37 events to the national tournament.  All students who competed earned high rankings in their preliminary rounds, contributing to the team's overall score.  Additional team members in attendance were:

    • Neil Hatfield, senior, Belvidere - Informative, Impromptu, Extemp
    • Sarah Snyder, junior, Edison - Prose, Duo, CA, Persuasive
    • Caitie Leibman, sophomore, Cedar Creek - POI, Duo
    • Laura Jacob, first-year student, Forest Lake, Minn. - DI, ADS
    • Lukas Petersen, first-year student, Minden - Extemp, Persuasive

    2009 Team Sweepstakes Results

    1st place - Western Kentucky University

    2nd place - George Mason University

    3rd place - University of Texas-Austin

    4th place - Bradley University

    5th place - Illinois State University

    6th place - California State University-Long Beach

    7th place - University of Nebraska-Lincoln

    8th place - Arizona State University

    9th place - University of Alabama

    10th place - Ohio University

    11th place - Doane College

    12th place - James Madison University

    13th place - University of Nebraska-Omaha

    14th place - Northwestern University

    15th place - Hastings College

    16th place - Glendale Community College-California

    17th place - Kansas State University

    18th place - Gustavus Adolphus College

    19th place - St. Joseph's University

    20th place - University of Texas-El Paso

    All results for the national tournament can be found at:

    Event descriptions can be found at:

    Doane Director of Forensics:  Dawn Bartlett

    Assistant Coaching Staff:  Anne Golden ('04), Michael Mahanes, Cassy Blakely ('08)

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