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Speech Team Claims Another National Title

by Rae McKee, Public Relations Writer

Cedarville University’s forensic speech team captured its second national championship in the past three years at the National Christian College Forensics Association (NCCFA) Invitational.

The event was held from March 5-7 at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California. Cedarville earned the top spot in Division II with 177 points, finishing well ahead of runner-up Liberty University (127) and third-place finisher Bethel University (111).

Eight Cedarville students competed at the competition, with two taking home individual national championships. 

Susanna Edwards, a freshman middle childhood education major from Delta, Pennsylvania, won a pair of titles in novice speaking and faith literature.

Gabe Cyrus, a sophomore social work major from Newbury, Ohio, was crowned national champion in the prose event for his interpretation of “Forgive and Forget” by Bridget Grace Sheaff.

“I am amazed at the student leadership of this team,” said Derrick Green, M.A., assistant professor of communications and forensics coach. “Our varsity team members willingly mentored our novices, and the spiritual dynamics of our constant prayer brought us closer as a team and led us to great results in the competition.” 

Edwards, who is in her first year on the forensics team, noted that the support of her teammates was crucial to her success and the overall success of the group.

“The mentors pushed us to excel and take ownership of each of our activities,” said Edwards. “While overall, we won as a team, each event was won by taking ownership of our own events and supporting each other in the midst of that.”

In addition to his championship in the prose category, Cyrus finished sixth in dramatic interpretation and was a semifinalist in open impromptu. He also was named as the tournament’s top varsity competitor.

Cyrus teamed with Remy Patterson, a sophomore language arts major from Dimondale, Michigan, to take fifth in duo interpretation. Patterson was the fourth-place winner in faith literature.

David Long, a junior communications major from Highlands, North Carolina, placed fourth in persuasive speaking and was a semifinalist in open impromptu.

Catherine Clemmons, a freshman criminal justice major from Hanson, Massachusetts, was a semifinalist in impromptu, finished third among novice competitors in faith literature and was named fifth in overall novice speaking.

Jameson Burns, a sophomore finance major from Chesterfield, New Hampshire, finished fifth in extemporaneous speaking while Rebecca Adams, a junior business management major from Akron, Ohio, placed sixth place in faith literature. 

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,711 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit

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