McK Speech and Debate Team in top form


The McKendree University Speech and Debate Team turned in excellent performances last weekend at its home debate tournament and the University of Central Missouri’s speech tournament. The highlights include:

  • Mitch Deleel and Adeja Powell won both the Bearcat Classic and the Hunsaker Invitational. That’s three consecutive tournament wins and extends their unbeaten streak to 24 consecutive debates. They are also qualified for the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence (NPTE) and are currently ranked 3rd in the nation by the NPTE.
  • Lyndellia Mannie, Aliyah Smith, and Andrew Wagner each qualified for the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament. Mannie is qualified in poetry, while Smith and Wagner are qualified in drama and communication analysis, respectively. Smith and Wagner qualified in duo as well.
  • McKendree students took home 39 awards, including twelve 1st place finishes.

“The full squad had an incredible weekend,” said Joe Blasdel. “Not only did our senior students turn in dominant performances, but our first-year students showed a great deal of promise with their successes as well.”

Seven colleges and universities, including the University of Minnesota, the University of Illinois, and William Jewell College attended McKendree’s debate swing on October 19-21. Representing McKendree were senior Adeja Powell; junior Haylee Christ; sophomores Mitch Deleel, Chandler Flesch, Caden Owens, and Rebecca Postula; and first-years Scott Anderson, Brian Duvendack, Kyle Garrett, and Isabella Strimling.

At the first half, the team of Deleel and Powell posted a perfect 5-0 record. After defeating Arkansas State in quarterfinals and the University of Minnesota in semifinals, they triumphed over William Jewell in finals to win the Bearcat Classic. Owens and Postula went 4-1 in prelims, finishing as quarterfinalists. The teams of Anderson and Strimling, as well as Duvendack and Garrett, closed out the rookie final.

At the second half, Deleel and Powell again went undefeated in prelims. After besting Appalachian State in quarterfinals and the University of Illinois in semifinals, they again defeated William Jewell in finals to win the Hunsaker Invitational. Owens and Postula advanced for the third consecutive tournament, with a 3-2 record. They finished as quarterfinalists after defeating Appalachian State in octofinals. Adeja Powell was recognized as the top speaker for the weekend as well as at each tournament – giving her three consecutive top speaker awards. Additionally, Deleel was the 4th place speaker for the swing, while Garrett was the top rookie speaker.

Twenty-one colleges and universities, including the University of Oklahoma, the University of Nebraska, and Simpson College, attended the University of Central Missouri’s tournament on October 20-21. Representing McKendree were seniors Aliyah Smith and Andrew Wagner; juniors Kate Maag, Lyndellia Mannie, and Isa Scaturro; and first-years Kelsey Fowler, Taylor Roth, and Kat Smith

At the first half, Wagner won 1st place in both extemporaneous speaking and communication analysis, as well as 2nd in impromptu. Additionally, Mannie took 1st place in poetry, while Smith and Wagner placed 2nd in duo. Smith finished 3rd place in two more events – programmed oral interpretation and drama. Scaturro placed 2nd in after dinner speaking and 5th in informative speaking, while Roth got her first college break with a 4th place finish and top novice in poetry. Maag received 5th place in programmed oral interpretation as well as 6th place in prose. Wagner was recognized as 3rd place in individual sweepstakes, while McKendree placed 2nd in individual event sweepstakes.

At the second half, Mannie took top honors again in poetry – her 3rd consecutive win in the event. Scaturro also brought home a 1st place finish in informative speaking. Wagner won 1st place in communication analysis, while also finishing 3rd in prose, 4th in informative speaking, and 6th in extemporaneous speaking. Smith and Wagner won 1st place in duo, while Smith also took 2nd place in both programmed oral interpretation and drama. Smith got her first college breaks with a 3rd place finish and top novice in programmed oral interpretation and 5th place in prose. Fann got her first college break with a 5th place in poetry, while Fann and Smith finished 5th in duo. Roth reached finals in poetry, taking 4th place. Wagner was again recognized for his 3rd place finish in individual sweepstakes. McKendree took 2nd place in individual sweepstakes at the 2nd half as well as for the swing.

McK UCM Pic
McKendree Speech and Debate Team

Front: Mitch Deleel, Andrew Wagner, Adeja Powell, Aliyah Smith, Taylor Roth, Rebecca Postula, Caden Owens, Haylee Christ, Rachael Hooven

Back: Isa Scaturro, Chandler Flesch, Kyle Garrett, Justin Fausz, Scott Anderson, Isabella Strimling, Lyndellia Mannie, Kelsey Fann

McKendree will next compete at Bradley University’s L.E. Norton Memorial Speech Tournament on November 3-4.