Forensics team closes 2008-09 season with strong showing

As the Geneva Forensics Tournament wrapped, Heather Boomer '09 (Monument, Colo.) took a moment to reflect as her amazing career with the Marietta College team was coming to an end.

"After four years with this team, (two of them as President) my last tournament was bittersweet. It's been a lot of work, and at times very frustrating, but I couldn't have asked for a more rewarding experience than this," she said. "We typically compete well at the Geneva Tournament, and this was definitely a way for us to go out with a bang. As always, I am extremely proud of my teammates and know that I will miss this in the years to come."

The Pioneers did end the 2008-09 season well, finishing second in the Sweepstakes with 17 total awards for the day, including first-place finishes by Boomer in Informative Speaking and Jacob Loukas '09 (Windham, Maine) in Extemporaneous Speaking.

"This is the tournament we had anticipated. Everyone is given the opportunity to showcase their outstanding events while creating new events. We are a team in every sense of the term and 20 years from now, we'll remember this incredible support and team spirit," said Dr. Mabry O'Donnell, McCoy and Hillyer Professor and Coach of the team. "How thrilled we are that our two seniors can finish their forensics career with first-place awards. Jake Loukas reached his goal of straight ones in extemporaneous speaking, and Heather Boomer pleased the judges with her informative speech."

Boomer also added a second-place finish in After Dinner Speaking, second in Duo Interpretation and fifth in Religious Informative. Meanwhile, Loukas grabbed third-place finishes in Religious Informative, Persuasive Speaking and Impromptu Speaking.

Scott Burnham '11 (Conneatville, Pa.) teamed up with Boomer in the Duo Interpretation and added a fourth-place award in Informative Speaking.

"The Geneva College forensics tournament was a great way to wrap up another successful season," Burnham said. "The tournament, although smaller than usual, still had a wide variation of talent and styles from Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and Ohio."

Abby Bogdan '11 (Vienna, W.Va.) finished second in Religious Informative, fourth in Persuasive Speaking and sixth in Informative Speaking. Marietta's other placers were Kristin Norton '12 (Akron, Ohio) and Ryan Ellis '11 (Parkersburg, W.Va.). Norton earned a fourth-place finish in Religious Informative and sixth-place in Dramatic Interpretation, while Ellis was fifth in Dramatic Interpretation.

"This tournament was full of surprises," Ellis said. "I made it into finals with an event I wasn't expecting to, and didn't in events I did expect to make it. It was definitely great experience and proof that you never know what can happen."

O'Donnell also praised the work of assistant coach Megan Schreck '06. "Having Megan Schreck as a part of the program this year, provided a spark that helped keep pieces fresh and creative. We will miss her."

The Geneva Tournament played host to 10 competing college teams including Alderson-Broaddus College, Baldwin Wallace College, Fairmont State University, Geneva College, Kent State University, Malone University, Marietta College, Morgan State University, University of Akron and West Virginia University-Parkersburg.