"Night Before Nationals" to be held March 30th & 31st in GCC 126

March 29, 2012

By Ivy Hillman '12

The Bradley Speech Team's annual "Night Before Nationals" event will be held on Friday, March 30 and Saturday, March 31. The event is meant to be low-pressure practice for the team's two upcoming competitions: the American Forensics Association's National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) in San Marcos, TX from April 6-9 and the National Forensics Association (NFA) tournament in Athens, OH from April 19-23.

The team has been preparing for the two tournaments all year.

"We've traveled to about 25 tournaments in order to qualify for each nationals competition," said Jamie Hammond, junior sociology major and speech team member.

They will soon be holding a mock tournament in order to prepare themselves even more.

Michael Chen, assistant director of forensics, is proud of the hard work that the team has put in over the past year.

"The 18 members of the team attending the AFA tournament have been pushing themselves in practice sessions with coaches, working with an enthusiastic base of alums and fine tuning each of their performances in peer coaching groups," Chen said.

"The team has made sure to emphasize personal growth and experience so that we're not only becoming better performers but better students," said Ben Gaddis, junior public relations and political science double major and speech team member.

Chen knows that the upcoming competitions will not be easy but has faith in the team.

"I believe we have the components needed to have a very successful national tournament. We have a strong senior class, the right balance across the various events and I believe many of the students are peaking at the right time," Chen said.

The members of the speech team also believe that they will do well.

"Overall, we have seen so much growth and a much deeper connection to our historical roots and traditions," Gaddis said. "It is my hope that as we approach the end of our incredibly long but rewarding season that we make our alumni and ourselves proud."