The University of Northern Iowa Speech team competed at the AFA-NIET in Hutchinson, Kansas. This is the most selective and competitive collegiate national speech tournament.
This year, the team qualified ten students with a total of thirty-four events, which is one of the largest contingents UNI has sent to AFA-NIET in the tournament’s thirty-five-year history. The team was tenth out of seventy-eight teams in team sweepstakes.
Four students qualified to AFA, but did not reach elimination rounds. Three students qualified two events each to AFA-NIET: Sophomores Heather Kelly and Jordan Lukehart, and First Year Maddison Jansen. Junior Scott Bredman qualified one event. Senior Harrison Postler qualified six events. He was the champion in Impromptu Speaking and second in Dramatic Interpretation. He was a semifinalist in After Dinner Speaking. Overall, he was sixth in Individual Sweepstakes out of 198 eligible competitors. Senior Mandy Paris qualified three events and was a quarterfinalist in Duo Interpretation with Senior Harrison Postler. Senior Michael Taylor qualified six events and was a quarterfinalist in Program Oral Interpretation, as well as a semifinalist with Ryan Courtney in Duo Interpretation.
Junior Zoe Russell qualified five events and was a quarterfinalist in Impromptu Speaking. Sophomore Ryan Courtney qualified five events and was a quarterfinalist in Dramatic Interpretation and Duo Interpretation with Senior Harrison Postler. First-Year Keegan Bosch qualified five events and was a quarterfinalist in Dramatic Interpretation.
This is Harrison Postler’s third year in a row reaching the finals at AFA-NIET. During his career at UNI, he has placed six events in three years in the top six at nationals. He is the first event champion for UNI Forensics at a National Speech tournament since 1992, and the first AFA-NIET event champion since 1988.
Rebecca Buel directs the Individual Events Team. Graduate students Yaw Kyeremateng and Sarah Taylor assist the team, along with Sade Barfield and Josh Hamzehee. The team will send the seniors to the NFA National Tournament the third weekend in April. Overall, the team qualified forty-eight events to NFA.