MARIETTA- Behind a strong performance from senior Ben Reese of Marietta, Marietta College's forensics team finished first in the President's Division of the Ohio Forensics Association State Championship.
The first-place finish was in the small school category, but the Pioneers placed second overall debate team sweepstakes. The competition was held at Marietta College for the first time.
Reese's first-place finish in persuasive speaking qualified him for the Interstate Oratorical Association Competition that will be held in Shreveport, La., in April.
Reese teamed with senior Andrew Kasick of Marietta and reached the semifinals of parliamentary debate. Reese was also awarded third-place parliamentary debate speaker, and finished fourth in extemporaneous speaking.
Kasick added a second-place finish in impromptu speaking. Freshman Andrew Looker of Canton, Ohio, was awarded first place Lincoln Douglas Debate Speaker.
Marietta competed against Bowling Green State University, Capital University, Cedarville University, Heidelberg University, Malone University, Miami University, Muskingum University, Ohio University, Otterbein University, University of Akron and University of Cincinnati.