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February 21, 2005

ULM Speech And Debate Forum Wins State Championships

The University of Louisiana at Monroe's Speech and Debate Forum continued its record-breaking season by capturing state titles seven events at the Louisiana Intercollegiate Forensics Association Championships. The tournaments, hosted by on the campus of Xavier University, were held in New Orleans, Louisiana on February 18-20th.

Team captain Isaac Henderson won his 2nd consecutive state championship in Dramatic Interpretation and his 3rd consecutive state championship in the Pentathlon competition, which recognizes the top overall individual competitor in a combination of five events. Sophomore Marcus Beckwith contributed to the team's success by earning state championships in Program of Oral Interpretation, Prose and Public Debate. Senior Tara Bouchie added a state championship in After Dinner Speaking and Sophomore Dena Boone earned the state championship in Informative Speaking.

ULM's performance, earning the state championship in 7 of 15 events, placed them above any other team in the state. ULM was followed by LSU (5 championships), Louisiana Tech (2 championships) and ULL (1 championship). In addition to the state titles, ULM earned a total of 37 awards during the competition.

ULM's performance at the state competition continues their record-breaking season. In 2003-2004, the team earned 99 awards en route to a third place finish at the national championship tournament. For 2004-2005, the team has already earned more than 160 awards heading into the national championships.

The first week of April, Marcus Beckwith, Dena Boone, Tara Bouchie, Isaac Henderson and Kina Reed will represent ULM at the American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament. In mid-April, Isaac Henderson will represent ULM at the National Forensics Association National Tournament, while Marcus Beckwith, Dena Boone, Hannah Hammons, LV Henderson and Lashonda Williams represent the Indians at the International Public Debate Association national championship tournament. The national championship cycle will be completed when Tara Bouchie becomes only the 2nd person in the 133-year history of the Interstate Oratorical Association to represent ULM in the nation's oldest and most exclusive national championship tournament, which will be held in Boston on April 22-23.

The ULM Speech and Debate Forum is open to any undergraduate student, and no prior experience is required. If you are interested in finding out more about the team, you are encouraged to contact Bob Alexander at 342-1462.

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