Dynamic Duo

BV students place first in national forensics tournament


Rachel Lock, Web Editor

Over the summer, eight students traveled to Florida to participate in National Forensics and Debate Competitions. Among these qualifiers, duo team senior Gracie Goheen and junior Kailey Meacham took their event to the National Catholic Forensics League (NCFL) Nationals in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

“The best part about getting to compete at a national level is having the opportunity to learn from others’ talents,” Goheen said. “By competing against people who are already successful at what they do, you get new ideas from them which can help you improve your own performance.”

Goheen said the national competition was more intense than a typical local tournament and even the state tournament.

“Every person there really cared about what they were doing, which made all of the rounds really fun to watch,” she said. “The talent level across the board was ridiculously high.”

Meacham said the sheer number of people at the tournament led to unique conversations and learning experiences.

“It was neat to meet all the different people and talk to them about the forensics program at their school,” she said. “They were all super good, so it was a little more competitive than the local competitions.”

Goheen said she also enjoyed the diversity brought by the tournament’s atmosphere.

“It was interesting to see how different styles fit to certain areas,” she said. “It was cool to walk into a round and learn that you were about to perform against someone from Alaska, New York and Florida. I think I was asked ‘So, where are you from?’ a thousand times.”

Goheen and Meacham said they faced an atypical problem with their preparation — neither student was able to take Forensics and Debate coach Chris Riffer’s class.

“This did not stop Riffer from helping us improve our piece,” Goheen said. “Even when we were on spring break, he allowed me to come in and perform for him. [Drama teacher Jeff] Yarnell also had a lot of helpful insight when it came to our duo. His advice on drawing the comedy out of our piece really helped us to succeed.”

Meacham said she particularly enjoys the collaborative aspect of her work for nationals.

“When you’re working with a partner you get two different perspectives and ideas,” she said.

Goheen said working with her partner was one of her favorite parts of the experience.

“[Meacham] is one of the most naturally gifted comedians I have ever met in my life,” she said. “Her ability to take a line and make it instantaneously funny was such an important component to our team. She is incredible at funny voices and funny characters.”

Goheen said she and Meacham have different roles in regards to their performance.

“This was our first year as duo partners, and I practically bullied her into doing a duo with me. But I am so glad I did,” she said. “Where I brought experience and knowledge about the mechanics on creating a good duo, Kailey brought the comedic ability to make our piece stand out. She helped me be funnier, and I helped her learn how to do a fight scene without touching somebody.”

Both Meacham and Goheen agreed that Forensics has been a large part of their school experience.

“Forensics has given me some of the best moments of my high school career. It has given me a place where I can succeed,” Goheen said. “Forensics make me feel important, and has taught me that if you work hard you will get results. I can’t thank that department enough for all that it’s given me.”