Hillsdale College’s forensics team placed in several events at the Michigan Intercollegiate Speech League State Championship Saturday held by Northwood University.
Despite limited practice in some events, the team earned several awards in the small tournament, earning awards for performances in total as well as individual events, before shifting its focus to the national competition.
Sophomore Nathaniel Turtel was named second overall speaker, after competing alongside junior Nathan Steinmeyer and taking first in Duo Interpretation. The event, which coach Matthew Warner said the pair was expected to win, involved condensing a drama into a 10-minute play. Steinmeyer cut down Samuel Beckett’s “Endgame,” and the Hillsdale duo had the best performance of a small field of students.
“The only reason I even thought of doing it was that Mr. Warner emailed us asking if we wanted to put one together, as there wasn’t much competition,” Turtel said. “We practiced it literally once before the tournament.”
Steinmeyer also placed second in Extemporaneous Speaking and third in Impromptu Speaking.
He is putting together a Prose Oral Interpretation of Drama, or POI, for the Pi Kappa Delta Comprehensive Tournament, which the forensics and debate teams will compete in March 22-25 at Boise State University.
“I have six pieces I’ll be doing at nationals,” Steinmeyer said. “That’s much much more than usual. I think that most people have two; some people have three. There are some people who have four to get that quadrathlon award.”
He said his goal was to get to nationals as a novice. Besides the three events he did at the last tournament and the POI he’s preparing, Steinmeyer will participate in Radio Broadcasting and Congressional Debate alongside the debate team. He said it is typical for speech students to assist the debate team at the PKD tournament, but the debate team will attend the National Forensics Association Tournament from April 11-13.
Hillsdale College is planning to hold novice tournament next year. Juniors Steven Custer and Mary Blendermann will compete in the Varsity MISL State Championship at Eastern Michigan University on March 18.