Tournament helps Bradley speech team recruit new members

By alyssa donovan

November 3, 2013 Updated Nov 4, 2013 at 12:54 AM CDT

Hundreds of college students spent the weekend in Peoria for one of the largest speech tournaments in the country.

Students on Bradley University's speech team are no strangers to competition, the team has won more than 40 titles.

But over the weekend these students put their performing on hold.

"The Bradley team doesn't compete we're just hosting," said Maricruz Salgado from the Bradley speech team.

And hosting in style, the entire team dressed to the theme of the 66th annual Norton speech tournament, Disney.

The competition is a chance for Bradley coaches and team members to watch other performances, see what other schools in the nation are doing and recruit team members from community colleges.

"We get a chance to talk to them and those community college students will transfer, we also have high school students come to the tournament to watch and see what college forensics is all about," said Ken Young, Director of Forensics at Bradley University.

For students new to college forensics meeting people on the Bradley Speech team is an opportunity to learn.

"Having them give me advice like how to perform or just advice in general about the experiences they've had at other tournaments is very rewarding," said Brandon Wilson, freshman on the Rice University speech team.

With 600 people from nearly 50 schools across the nation, the Norton speech tournament gives Bradley a lot to pick from.

"It's the biggest collegiate tournament in the nation before our national tournament in the spring," Young said.

A lot of work goes into planning and running the tournament but it's worth it says Salgado.

"Some people on our team came to Norton when they were at a community college and decided to transfer because of their experience here," Salgado said.

And that trend is likely to continue.
Bradley's Forensics Director says he plans to talk to some performers to join his award-wining Speech Team.

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