UA’s Jalen Drummond Named Forensics National Champion

UA’s Jalen Drummond Named Forensics National Champion

Jalen Drummond, a senior from Wedowee, Alabama, finished first nationally in informative speaking at the 41st American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament Championships in Colorado Springs, Colorado. More than 20 Alabama Forensic Council students competed in the AFA-NIET.

Jalen Drummond (center, holding plates) with the Alabama Forensic Council’s AFA-NIET competitors

“Preparing to compete on the national stage is nothing short of intense,” said Drummond. “I spent hours perfecting my delivery, researching current events, and practicing with some of the most respected coaches in the nation. It is definitely grueling; however, the laborious preparation definitely pays off when you hear your name shouted as the national champion.”

Drummond’s topic focused on the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and an Obama Administration report that sheds light on details of that day. Drummond’s speech attempted to address and combat fake news and emphasized the need for truth in reporting.

The Alabama Forensic Council entered 24 students in 66 events and advanced nine students in 15 events to quarter-finals, five students in six events to semi-finals, and three students to four events in the final round of competition. AFC finished in fifth place out of 63 competing schools for the second year in a row.

“The fifth-place finish of the AFC at this year’s National Speech tournament is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the students and staff,” said Bobby Imbody, director of forensics. “All of the students did the hard work required to be great, and it shows. More importantly, our students tackled hard topics and spoke truth to any and all audiences in an effort to make their world a better place more than any year before.”

The AFA-NIET is the most competitive national forensics tournament in the nation with the most rigorous qualification process of any intercollegiate forensic tournament.

Here is a full list of student winners.

Pearce Barringer, junior, Montgomery
Quarter Finals             Extemporaneous Speaking

Emma Capitanelli, first year, Collierville, TN
Sixth Place          Persuasive Speaking

Jalen Drummond, senior, Wedowee
National Champion     Informative Speaking
Third Place          Communication Analysis

Brittany Grady, senior, Birmingham
Quarter Finals             Impromptu Speaking

Isaiah McDermott, first year, Morristown, TN
Quarter Finals             Program Oral Interpretation

Danielle Pacia, junior, Morristown, TN
Semi Finals     Program Oral Interpretation
Quarter Finals             Informative Speaking
Quarter Finals             Persuasive Speaking

Alexis Simmons, junior, Montgomery
Semi Finals                 Poetry Interpretation
Quarter Finals             Prose Interpretation
Quarter Finals             Dramatic Interpretation

McLean Stewart ,junior, Montgomery
Sixth Place          Extemporaneous Speaking
Quarter Finals             Impromptu Speaking

Ed White, junior, Montgomery
Quarter Finals             Communication Analysis