Forensics Team Finishes Runners-Up in National Competition

by Nathan Pilling, Public Relations Writer

Cedarville’s forensics team recently finished second in division two individual events at the 16th annual National Christian College Forensics Invitational. The event featured top competitors from 25 schools and more than 500 individual entries.

Accompanied by their coach, Derrick Green, M.A., students Jered Stonge, Douglas Malcolm, Crysta Hutchinson, Amy Brown and Katie Goehring traveled to John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Ark., to compete in these events. When all the competitions had finished, the team had garnered a second place finish in its division and Stonge and Hutchinson had four top-three finishes between them.

“Winning a sweepstakes award at this tournament is a testimony to the hard work, dedication and sacrifices of the students,” said Green. “Regardless of how we finished, I could not have asked anything more of them. They went above and beyond what I asked of them this year and specifically for this tournament.”

The competition is broken down into five categories with 13 individual events, all of which involve an element of public speaking. Whether hours of preparation have gone into a specific presentation or if a topic is assigned on the spot, each event requires a unique blend of performance flair and quick thinking.

All this occurs in the long, whirlwind days that are common at these sorts of events. “Competitors seem to be in a constant state of movement as they hurry to their next event, and the days are very long,” said Hutchinson. “Tournaments usually start early in the morning, and go late into the evening, around 9 or 10, and this goes for three days at nationals.”

Despite the high-anxiety environment, Hutchinson said she enjoyed the experience of representing her school at a national level. “The atmosphere was so friendly, and we had such a great experience traveling to Arkansas as a team, that the pressure of the situation faded and converted into a genuine joy to be there and an excitement to perform,” she said.

The team hopes that the joy they have is a witness to those they interact with at the competitions. “Every tournament is a chance to interact with competitors and to be witnesses for Jesus Christ,” Hutchinson said. “We may be some of a very limited number of Christians they interact with during their college years, and we focus a lot on how to represent Christ well in an environment that can be so hostile at times. In any of our success the glory goes to God.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,400 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Inspiring greatness for over 125 years, Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at