Brett Gray takes 5th at national speech competition

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
April 13, 2011

Brett Gray, a communication studies major at Texas State University-San Marcos, finished 5th in the nation in Poetry Interpretation at the 2011 American Forensics Association’s National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) held at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, April 1-4.

The Elton Abernathy Forensics Society, Texas State’s competitive speech team, took 20th place overall out of the 82-school field.

Gray, a sophomore from Houston, said he found the whole experience to be very emotional.

“To be up there in front of a couple of hundred people and be able to get them to laugh and cry is quite an experience,” Gray said. “It is an honor to be among this incredible group of individuals.”

Jaysin Spradley, a senior communication studies major from Boling, and Mike Yates, a sophomore communication studies major from Houston, advanced to the quarterfinals in Duo Dramatic Interpretation. Spradley competed for the Bobcats for the last four years.

“It was wonderful to have the team finish in the top 20,” Spradley said. “It was a great four years working to get to this point.”

“We’ve worked very hard for the last four years to get this award, and we’re only going to get better,” said Brandon McCasland, a senior communication studies major from Bay City, who advanced to the quarterfinals in both Prose Interpretation and Dramatic Interpretation.

Next year’s AFA-NIET national tournament will be hosted by Texas State.