By Ryan Cornell
MIDDLETOWN -- Clutching the medals around their necks, Camille Gibson and Colt Scott look like Olympic athletes. They even share the same poise and confidence as Sochi stars.
The two Lord Fairfax Community College students were part of a forensics team that traveled to Wilkes-Barre, Pa., on Sunday and took second place overall at the Wilkes University Harold Cox Invitational Forensics Tournament.
Forensics is a communications elective offered through the college that helps students overcome their fear of public speaking, and as Gibson puts it, "a way for young adults to voice their message." The class is taught by Andrea Ludwick, associate professor of Communications Studies and Theater.
A total of 17 members on the team earned first to seventh place finishes to receive the second place overall honors. George Mason University took home the top spot, which Ludwick said isn't surprising.
"They have 30 people and go to tournaments about every weekend," she said. "We go to tournaments twice a semester."
She said this was LFCC's first time at the Wilkes tournament.
A voice major at the college, Gibson, 19, performed a prose piece on Tina Turner and the struggles she experienced. Gibson won fourth place in prose as well as second in poetry.
Scott, 19, was nervous for his first tournament since his days on the Strasburg High School forensics team.
"I still get butterflies, but I feel like the day I don't get that is the day it doesn't matter anymore," he said. "So I feel like fear is important."
For his performance, he portrayed a piece by Wayne Rawley, titled "Controlling Interest." The piece had him performing six different voices and characters, including those of two girls.
His performance would end up winning first place in single dramatic interpretation.
"You could hear the gasps from our team as they whittled down the names of more people," he said.
LFCC competed against teams from 10 other schools, including Binghamton University, Bloomsburg University, George Mason University, King's College, Luzerne Community College, Malone University, Marywood University, Misericordia University, University of Tennessee and Wilkes University.
"It definitely feels like we're the underdog," Scott said.
Gibson said that it can be a little intimidating competing as a community college against four-year universities, but said they're confident in themselves.
"We stand our ground," she said. "We're proud of our school."
Andrea agreed that LFCC has built up a bit of a reputation for its forensics team.
"They respect us now," she said. "They cheer us on."
Competitors on the 18-member team placed first, second and third in persuasion, first in single dramatic interpretation, third in duo interpretation, second in poetry, third in extemporaneous and second in after dinner speaking
Other team members receiving awards include: Ron Anderson, Natalie Capps, Kim Carbajo, Lydia Hisey, Bailey Hutchinson, Erik Jurek, Anthony Klahre, Kelsey Owens, Bekah Pennington, John Riggs and Angelica Ruscio.
The team will compete next at a competition in Ocean City, Md.
Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or firstname.lastname@example.org