Speaking of Champions

By Frank Radosevich II
April 9, 2013

The Bradley Speech Team was once again crowned national champions at the American Forensic Association tournament in Hutchison, Kan., placing first as a team and sealing the top five individual categories.

The victory cements the forensics team’s longstanding legacy of winning national titles and its reputation as one of the most respected programs in the country. This is the 40th national speech championship earned by Bradley students and their 22nd AFA national title since 1980.

“It was a historic victory,” said Ken Young, director of forensics, who is serving his first year head coach. “Bradley’s tradition of excellence is alive and well.”

Bradley scored an impressive 659 points for the win, placing its students well above the second-place winner Western Kentucky University, with 488 points, and third-place George Mason University, with 335 points.

In addition to the team’s success, students captured the top five individual sweepstakes awards, given to individuals who garner the most points after competing in at least four events. Senior philosophy major Jacoby Cochran was named national champion at the tournament out of a field of nearly 80 other universities.

Along with Cochran, six other Bradley students ranked in the individual sweepstakes. They are: Cecil Blutcher, senior, second place, who also was individual champion in duo interpretation with his partner Kaybee Brown; Brown, junior, third place, who also was individual champion in dramatic interpretation, prose interpretation and duo interpretation with Blutcher; Junior Ocasio, senior, fourth place, who also was individual champion in persuasive speaking and Ryan Tinlin, senior, fifth place.

Also ranking in the individual sweepstakes were Brooke Stevenson, senior, 10th place and Talan Tyminski, sophomore, 19th place.

Ocasio, student president of the forensics team, attributed the team’s success to its tireless work ethic and help from alumni. “It took a lot of practice and hard work but it’s something that we love to do and we’re incredibly proud of our success,” he said. “It just goes to show with the support of our alumni and Bradley what we can achieve.”

As a theatre arts major, Brown said his work on the team has helped perfect his acting and delivery on stage. His speech presentations both influence and reflect what he is studying academically.

“I’ve learned a great deal from both my theater classes and my practice on the team,” he said.

The Speech Team will compete next week in the National Forensic Association Championship Tournament at Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va. where they will again defend their title as national champions.