Ashley Litsey, a LaRue County High School graduate, is one of three Western Kentucky University forensic students to win a national championship.
She and Cornelius Lee, a senior from Killeen, Texas, were tops in duo Interpretation at the National Forensic Association National Tournament April 16-20 in Springfield, Mo. Litsey also took third in poetry interpretation.
Litsey, a senior, said her win “hasn’t completely become real to me. I can’t believe that something that started as just an after school activity blossomed into a national championship and a huge part of my life.”
“… The emotions I felt after they announced my name were some that I’ve never experienced before,” she added.
Litsey credits her high school coaches Katy Blair Cecil and Helena Freedlund for her success.
“To my coaches in high school, I owe all the thanks in the world,” she said. “I can say without any hesitation that I would not be as successful as I have been without speech and debate. Other students from LaRue County deserve the same opportunity to shine. I’m so happy to have had this experience, not just because I am a national champion but because now I can attest to the impact speech and debate can have on a person. I’m so proud to represent my hometown of Hodgenville; this LaRue County Hawk hopes to continue to soar to success.”
She hopes LaRue County’s “rich history in speech and debate” will continue through the efforts of the school district.
Litsey’s classmate Rachel Wigginton, a senior from Glendale, took third in persuasive speaking and semifinalist in informative speaking in the tournament.
The National Forensic Association national tournament is the largest such national tournament in the nation, with 1,240 slots competing in individual events and 22 schools competing in Lincoln-Douglas debate.
“Going into this semester, I felt that this was going to be a rebuilding season for us,” forensics director Judy Woodring said. “The coaches and I let the students know how hard they were going to have to work to maintain the national titles. And they did it. We didn’t have any big stars but we did have people step up to the plate and bring it on.”
For more information about the tournament, visit http://www.wku.edu/forensics.