BY JOE BLASDEL
Adviser of the speech and debate team
In the last two weekends, the McKendree University Speech and Debate team took home 18 awards, including two team sweepstakes awards at the Missouri’s state tournament.
“This team has worked hard throughout the year, and our late season success is a testament to that work,” said Joe Blasdel. “This team has both the ability and discipline to put together some excellent nationals performances.”
15 colleges and universities, including Rice University, the University of Missouri and Purdue University, attended Loyola University’s National Warmup on Feb. 12-14. Representing McKendree was senior Rodney McBride and sophomores Alex Baldwin, Adam Kaul and Gage Simmons. Kaul and McBride posted a 5-3 record, finishing as double-octofinalists. Baldwin and Simmons also went 5-3 and were recognized as double-octofinalists.
Sixteen colleges and universities, including Truman State University, the University of Nebraska and Simpson College, attended Missouri’s state tournament at Webster University on Feb. 19-20. Representing McKendree were juniors Dylan Comer, Katie Reining and Taylor Rossi, sophomores Beth Graham, Kaitlyn Hutchison, David Junge, Jazzmine Mitchell and Hannah Zickefoose and first-years Justin Fausz, Matthew Hendricks, Adeja Powell, Aliyah Smith, Andrew Wagner and Emma Webster.
In individual events, Reining won 1st place in after-dinner speaking, which allowed her to showcase her speech at the awards assembly. She also placed 6th in programmed oral interpretation. Comer and Webster took 2nd place in duo, while they finished 3rd in programmed oral interpretation and 6th in persuasion, respectively. Zickefoose placed 2nd in poetry and 4th in programmed oral interpretation. Rossi and Wagner finished 5th in duo, while Wagner also took 6th in prose. Zickefoose placed 4th in individual sweepstakes, while McKendree took 3rd place in individual event sweepstakes.
In open debate, the team of Fausz and Junge posted a 2-2 record, finishing as semifinalists. Powell was recognized as the 2nd place speaker, while Junge took 4th place. In novice debate, the team of Hutchison and Mitchell also went 2-2 but just missed advancing. Hutchison was named the 6th place speaker in the novice division.
McKendree will next compete at Pi Kappa Delta’s National Comprehensive Tournament, hosted by the University of Kentucky on March 16-20.