Eastern Michigan University’s forensic program ranked fourth at its tournament, which took place from April 16 to April 20 in Athens, Ohio.
EMU’s team was one of 79 teams from across the U.S. to qualify for nationals. For more than 40 years, Eastern has placed in the top 10 and taken home more than 35 Michigan state team championships.
EMU student Karen Bagoumian, a senior from North Hollywood, Calif., beat 234 students to win the National Championship in prose interpretation. She also was a semi-finalist in poetry interpretation and in after-dinner speaking. She and fellow student Sami White were quarter-finalists in duo interpretation. She took 14th place in the Pentathlon.
“Accepting a championship title was one of the most beautiful ways to say goodbye to an activity that has captured my heart for five years,” said Bagoumian.
Several other students succeeded at the forensic tournament.
Casey Sabella placed third in rhetorical criticism and was quarter-finalist in persuasive speaking, extemporaneous speaking and impromptu speaking.
Spencer Belko placed fourth in persuasive speaking, was a semi-finalist in after dinner speaking and was a quarter-finalist in rhetorical criticism and dramatic interpretation.
White placed fifth in after-dinner speaking, was a semi-finalist in duo interpretation and a quarter-finalist in prose interpretation and duo interpretation.
Jackson Spencer was a semi-finalist in duo interpretation and a quarter-finalist in dramatic interpretation.
Durell Jamerson-Barnes was a semi-finalist in duo interpretation and a quarter-finalist in dramatic interpretation.
Tristin Taylor was a semi-finalist in duo interpretation
Tim Ward was a quarter-finalist in extemporaneous speaking.
Coach Nick Romerhausen told University Communications how proud he was of the team.
“We had a great year, with a wonderful senior class,” he said. “We won the state team championship in individual sweepstakes, the novice state tournament championship and ending with a fourth place finish out of 70 schools in the nation is a great accomplishment. Our coaches are very proud of our students this year.”