SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- The Union Catholic Forensics team, highlighted by first-place finishes from Yvonne Agyapong, Casey Arias, and Anthony Madsen and Tian Liao, finished a very strong fourth at the first Newark Catholic Forensics League Tournament of the season on Saturday.

Agyapong, a junior, finished first in the Original Oratory. Arias, a sophomore, placed first in Declamation. Madsen and Liao placed first in the JV Public Forum competition. 

In other highlights, Michael Mahaffey placed third in Declamation, Courtney Lucius and Allison Julve were semifinalists in Public Forum, and Alana Beardsley and Jacqueline Carey were quarterfinalists in Public Forum.

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Here is a list of all the Union Catholic students who competed:

Congress: Abhijay Upadhyay and Maya Hicks

Declamation: Casey Arias and Michael Mahaffey 

Original Oratory: Yvonne Agyapong

Public Forum Debate: Alana Beardsley and Jacqueline Carey (Varsity); Taylor Benjamin and Mikaila Farrell (Varsity); Nadia Blouin and Ana Kwiatkowski (Varsity); Abigail Hunsinger and Sophia Wright (Varsity); Courtney Lucius and Allison Julve (Varsity); Tian Liao and Anthony Madsen (JV); Reema Sharma and Juliana Rama (JV); Cassandra Vega and Angelica Valdez (JV); Union Catholic WH: Adrian Hou and Caitlin Wong (JV).

Dr. Edward Sagendorf, Union Catholic's forensics coach, was ecstatic with how his team performed.

"Union Catholic started the forensics season strong,'' said Dr. Sagendorf. "I am incredibly proud of our students and continue to be inspired by their commitment to speech and debate. I applaud our incredible coaching staff for stepping up to the new challenges of practicing virtually with our students."

Union Catholic (1600 Martine Ave., Scotch Plains) prepares a diverse student body to fulfill their college and career goals by cultivating the students' achievement of academic standards of excellence within a value-centered environment, strong in its commitment to our core values (respect, responsibility, honesty, compassion, and community), and to the establishment of a community of faith and love in the Catholic tradition. For more information, call (908) 889-1600 or visit