For the fourth time in the last six years, the MavForensics team capped off their season with a top 5 finish. Despite having one of the smaller teams in the top 20, consisting this year of 11 underclassmen and only 3 upper classmen (with just one senior), the team completed their season by taking home the 5th place trophy in back-to-back years. Three other teams from Nebraska were in the top 20, with Doane College placing 16th, Hastings College placing 15th, and University of Nebraska Lincoln placing 9th. That marks the most schools in the top 20 from any one state in the nation and makes the MavForensics’ state championship back in February that much more meaningful.
The team was led by senior Catie Zaleski, who finished ranked the sixth overall speaker in the entire nation. Catie and duo partner, Freshman Abby Hoffman, placed third overall at the tournament in Duo Interpretation. Catie also placed third in Dramatic Interpretation, with junior Abbie Herbert taking home second in the same event and placing in quarterfinals in After Dinner Speaking. Catie also advanced her Program of Oral Interpretation to semifinals (top 12 in the nation) and her Poetry Interpretation to quarterfinals (top 24 in the nation). Abby took her Prose Interpretation to semifinals and her Dramatic Interpretation to quarterfinals. Sophomore Dominic Hernandez made semifinals in both Prose Interpretation and Program of Oral Interpretation and quarterfinals in Poetry Interpretation. Sophomore T’eyrr Bynum made quarterfinals in both Dramatic Interpretation and Poetry Interpretation. Freshman Ameres Groves made quarterfinals in Program of Oral Interpretation.
In addition to the competitive success, Catie also became only the fourth “All-American” in MavForensics’ history. All-Americans are awarded based on three criteria: Competitive success, academic excellence, and service to the community. The selection is made by a national committee, who found Catie’s application among the best in the nation, awarding her a slot on the coveted team.
Even the coaches were recognized, with Assistant Director of Forensics Cameron Logsdon winning the “Outstanding New Coach Award,” presented to a recipient for excellence in their first five years of coaching. Director of Forensics Abbie Syrek previously won the same award back in 2011. Only two schools in the country have had two coaches who received this prestigious award, Kansas State University and now the University of Nebraska Omaha.
All told, it was one of the most successful years in the program’s 10-year tenure under Syrek. Complete results are detailed below:
- Abby Hoffman – Dramatic Interpretation
- Ameres Groves – Program of Oral Interpretation
- Dominic Hernandez – Poetry Interpretation
- T’eyrr Bynum – Poetry Interpretation, Dramatic Interpretation
- Abbie Herbert – After Dinner Speaking
- Catie Zaleski – Poetry Interpretation
- Abby Hoffman – Prose Interpretation
- Dominic Hernandez – Program of Oral Interpretation, Prose Interpretation
- Catie Zaleski – Program of Oral Interpretation
- Abbie Herbert – National Runner-Up in Dramatic Interpretation
- Catie Zaleski – 3rd Place in Dramatic Interpretation
- Catie Zaleski/Abby Hoffman – 3rd place in Duo Interpretation
- Catie Zaleski – 6th overall speaker, All-American
- Team – 5th place in the nation
- Cameron Logsdon – Outstanding New Coach of the Year