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Plattsburgh State Speakers Challenged by Larger Forensic Teams; Plattsburgh's Team to Showcase Public Speaking Style at Nov. 20 Special Performance

PLATTSBURGH, NY __ Expecting to do battle with several Division III teams at tournaments at Nassau Community College and Suffolk Community College Nov. 2-3, the rejuvenated Forensic Team at Plattsburgh State University of New York instead found itself pegged against Division I and II college public speaking teams for its first two competitions.

Forensic coaches Nora and Al Montanaro said that the team made an excellent showing, considering the quality of the competition.

"I was hoping to ease our young team into a couple of moderately difficult tournaments when a few of the biggest programs in the country wandered in to spoil our season debut," said Nora Montanaro. "However, our team managed to beat two of the Division II schools  (The Ohio University and Cal State) and all the division III schools with the exception of Cornell University (last year's Division III National Champions)."

The Division I and II teams were from George Mason University (Va.), James Madison University (W.Va.), The Ohio University, Cornell, NYU, Saint Joseph's, Seton Hall and California State University.

Led by senior marketing major Matt Iscoe, the young Plattsburgh team emerged "bloodied but unbowed" from the fierce foray of top drawer speakers and readers.

Iscoe took fifth place in Prose Interpretation, seventh in Duo Interpretation of Drama with his partner, Katie Line (a mass communication major), seventh in Poetry Interpretation and ranked among the top 10 in After Dinner speaking.

Marvelle Roberts (a math major) finished sixth in Poetry Interpretation while LaToya Alexander (an accounting major) took sixth place in Communication Analysis at the Nassau tournament. 

The team of Iscoe and Line settled for seventh in the Dramatic Duo competition, and Julie Heggman (a math major) placed among the top ten in the tournaments' largest event, Impromptu Speaking at the Suffolk tournament.

Marica Blackmoore (a biochemistry major) also placed seventh in Poetry Interpretation at the Nassau tournament.

"We're extremely excited about the talent and quality of our Plattsburgh State team," said Al Montanaro. "We're confident the team will be a formidable force at the regional and state tournaments in the Spring. Our team is certainly 'bright with promise'."

Team Showcases Public Speaking Nov. 20

Team members will also showcase their public speaking abilities at a special performance for the campus and community on Thursday, Nov. 20 at 5:15 p.m. in the Cardinal Lounge, Angell College Center.

The original forensic team was active from 1969 until the Fall of 1995. During those 25 years of competition, team members won several championships including 18 state championships, eight regional championships and, in 1974, Plattsburgh State's first-ever national championship.

Last Spring Nora Montanaro coached a very talented Gerald Tan, an honors student who graduated last May with a 4.0 grade point average.  Tan did extremely well winning several individual honors and a fifth place team honor at the regional and state championships.

Last year, the state championship title went to Suffolk Community College (a Division II team), the same team the current Plattsburgh State Forensic Team defeated at the Nov. 2 tournament at Nassau Community College.

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