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updated: 5/3/2013 1:40 PM

COD Forensics Team Wins National Championship

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COD News Bureau

The College of DuPage Forensics Team won the national championship at the 2013 Phi Rho Pi National Forensics Tournament.

In addition to winning a gold medal in the Overall Sweepstakes category, Abby Escatel (Riverside) won a gold medal in Communication Analysis. She was one of seven students who reached the semifinal or final round, scoring a collective 72.5 points that put COD ahead of the second place team, Moraine Valley, with 67.5 points.

Lauren Morgan, Professor of Speech Communications and director of the team, said students embraced "the Big Mo" -- motivation.

"It became the slogan on our nationals T-shirt, and I think it unified the team," she said. "They all really wanted to win, and they were led by an amazing group of second-year team members. We'll be sad to see them move on to their next schools, but the returning team members are already excited by the prospects for next year."

The following students earned medals for COD:

Shawn Anaya (Wheaton)

Silver, Prose Interpretation

Bronze, Duo Interpretation (with Subhan Suhail)

Bronze, Reader's Theater (with Kelsey Figiel and Subhan Suhail)

Harry Bodell (Woodridge)

Silver, Extemporaneous Speaking

Bronze, Impromptu Speaking

Abby Escatel (Riverside)

Gold, Communication Analysis

Kelsey Figiel (Wheaton)

Bronze, Program Oral Interpretation

Bronze, Prose Interpretation

Bronze, Reader's Theater (with Shawn Anaya and Subhan Suhail)

Matt Mayorga (Geneva)

Bronze, Extemporaneous Speaking

Steve Perry (Bloomingdale)

Bronze, Extemporaneous Speaking

Subhan Suhail (Downers Grove)

Bronze, Duo Interpretation (with Shawn Anaya)

Bronze, Reader's Theater (with Shawn Anaya and Kelsey Figiel)

Also joining the team were Austin Carlquist (Downers Grove), Carolyn Clarke (Glen Ellyn) and Ricardo Guerrero (Elmhurst). In addition to Morgan, the team is coached by full-time Speech faculty Jude Geiger, Chris Miller and Mia Poston as well as alumnus Matt Beifuss.

For more information about the Forensics team, contact Morgan at or call (630) 942-2007.