McKendree Speech Team Takes 1st Place in Three Events at Murray State University


BY JOE BLASDEL, PhD

The McKendree University speech team took home 13 awards this weekend, including Spencer Marcum’s win as the top overall performer at the second half. Fourteen colleges and universities, including Western Kentucky University, the University of Alabama, and Belmont University attended Murray State University’s Jackson Purchase Swing on February 8-9. Representing McKendree were juniors Rebecca Blake, Josh Fleming, and Spencer Marcum; sophomore Cassie Kuberski; and first-year Katie Reining.

“This was a small but highly competitive tournament,” said Stephen Hagan. “Western Kentucky and Alabama are two of the top teams in the nation and we held our own.  The first day we struggled, but the team did what they have done all year and kept their heads up and had a very strong showing the second day.  I am very proud of the work they put in and it showed here.  Even those that did not make the final round were competitive across the board.”

At the first half of the tournament, McKendree advanced four events to finals. Marcum took 4th place in programmed oral interpretation and 5th place in dramatic interpretation. Reining took 1st place in novice prose and 2nd place in communication analysis.

DEBATE TEAM -Murray State 2014  Front: Katie Reining, Rebecca Blake, Cassie Kuberski Back: Josh Fleming, Spencer Marcum
DEBATE TEAM -Murray State 2014
Front: Katie Reining, Rebecca Blake, Cassie Kuberski
Back: Josh Fleming, Spencer Marcum

At the second half of the tournament, McKendree had substantially better results, advancing eight events to finals. Marcum took 1st place in programmed oral interpretation (his fourth win of the year), 3rd place in dramatic interpretation and 3rd place in poetry interpretation. He was also recognized as the top individual performer at the second half. Additionally, Fleming took 4th place in programmed oral interpretation, while Fleming and Blake took 6th place in duo interpretation. Reining took 4th place in radio speaking, while taking 1st place in novice communication analysis and 2nd place in novice prose interpretation.

With Marcum’s success in dramatic interpretation this weekend, McKendree now has three events qualified for the prestigious American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament: Marcum in programmed oral interpretation and dramatic interpretation, and Fleming in programmed oral interpretation.

The McKendree speech team will compete next weekend at the Missouri State Tournament in Warrensburg, MO. The McKendree debate team will also be competing next weekend at Loyola University’s National Warm-up tournament.