Article and Pictures contributed to by Joseph Blasdel, Director of Speech and Debate; McKendree Review staff
McKendree University’s Speech and Debate Team is one of the teams on campus that does not get enough credit for what they achieve. This season has been one to remember! Regular season is over for them, but they are not done yet. Our Speech and Debate Team is going into their post-season. Most of the performances will be hosted on our campus, so do not miss out on them!
Mitch Deleel and Adeja Powell both showed their talent by turning in their best performance of the season, going undefeated at the University of Missouri’s National Warm-Up, while defeating the 7th, 8th, and 12th ranked teams in the country. Adeja was also awarded the Best Speaker Award for her individual performance. Together, they are currently the 3rd ranked team in the nation, just behind the University of California at Berkeley. They now have three tournament wins this year (at McKendree and Berkeley, as well as Mizzou) and six tournament wins overall – which is the most of any McKendree team in history!
“Adeja and Mitch have had an incredible year with three big tournament wins,” said Joe Blasdel. “Their talent and work ethic are extraordinary; it will be exciting to see them compete at nationals in the next few weeks.”
Adeja and Mitch will be joined by two other teams at the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence – Caden Owens and Rebecca Postula as well as Kyle Garrett and Kyle Smith. Rebecca and Caden are currently the 32nd ranked team, having advanced at four tournaments this year. Kyle and Kyle are currently the 24th ranked team, also advancing at four tournaments this year. This is the first year since 2013 that McKendree has had three teams qualify for the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence.
Four other McKendree debaters have placed at tournaments this year – Dalton Atwater, Jamari Jackson, Maddie Kopp, and Noah Marlar – and they will also be competing at NPDA nationals.
Senior Isa Scaturro has qualified both of her events, informative speaking and communication analysis, to the prestigious American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament. In particular, at Webster’s Gorlok Gala, she took 1st in informative speaking and 3rd place in communication analysis in a field that had students from 37 colleges and universities. At McKendree’s spring speech tournament, Isa, along with Kate Maag, Aliyah Smith, and Rebecca Postula, managed to advance 13 of 14 entries to finals, an incredibly high finals conversion rate.
On March 7-9, McKendree will host the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence, which will include about 30 of the highest ranked teams from across the nation, including the University of California at Berkeley, Rice University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Oregon. The tournament will occur largely in Piper Academic Center and it is open to the public.
On March 12-14, McKendree will host the National Parliamentary Debate Association Championship Tournament, which will have 70 teams from across the nation. Given the size of the tournament, debates will occur in almost every campus classroom. It is also open to the public.