Forensics Team Sees Early Season Success


The Truman Forensics Team has started the second half of their competition season strong, kicking off the semester with a virtual, asynchronous OATS tournament, Jan. 22-26, hosted by Outspoken Culture. They also participated in an in-person tournament hosted by Webster University, Jan. 26-28, fondly known by the team and speech and debate community as the “Gorlok.” Follow along with the team’s successes throughout the semester as they climb closer to nationals at @trumanforensicunion on Instagram or @TrumanForensics on Facebook.

OATS Competition
The team earned a fourth place finish out of 37 teams. Senior Jillian Humke was tournament champion in impromptu speaking, earning her second qualification to the American Forensic Association (AFA) national tournament later this spring.

Senior Ella Schnake and sophomore Briggs Maynor earned a separate qualification to the National Forensic Association (NFA) competition by placing as the tournament champions in duo interpretation.

Senior Megan Ford placed sixth in informative speaking.

Sophomore Alex Peterson placed fifth in impromptu, while sophomore Breanna Mathes was the top novice in persuasion.

First-year freshman member Bryna Norman was the top novice in program oral interp (POI) and placed fifth.

Gorlok Competition
The Gorlok competition hosted 32 schools on Webster’s campus and provided opportunities for students to compete in either speech and/or debate. The tournament also offered a special pentathlon award for top competitors who competed in at last five or more speech events.

Truman Forensics had two students place among the top five competitors awarded in pentath. Schnake was tournament champion and Peterson placed third.

The tournament offered separate categories of debate and speech awards. The team earned a second place finish in debate and third place in individual events (IE), ranking the team as third overall at the tournament. Truman placed over other respectable teams from across the nation, many that traveled far to attend the tournament, such as Illinois State University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of North Texas and Western Kentucky University.

Individual Award Placements in IE
Schnake was tournament champion in communication analysis (CA), impromptu and duo with Maynor. Schnake also received second place in both duo and improvisational pairs with Humke.

Ford was tournament champion in prose interpretation and fifth in dramatic interpretation (DI).

In addition to the duo and improv pairs placements, Humke also earned fourth in persuasion and was in the top 30% in impromptu.

Peterson was tournament champion in Informative, received second in prose, fourth in CA and impromptu and sixth in persuasion.

In addition to duo, Maynor was also tournament champion in poetry interpretation, earned third in informative, and was in the top 30% of prose competitors.

Mathes was in the top 30% of prose competitors.

Norman was tournament champion and top novice in after-dinner speaking (ADS).

Freshman Kate Bailey earned sixth place in POI and was in the top 30% in prose.

Individual Award Placements in Debate
In the open/varsity division of Lincoln-Douglas (LD) debate, senior Alicia Stout was a quarterfinalist (top eight) and first speaker.

Senior Elijah Baum was also a quarterfinalist and earned fifth place speaker.

Senior Eli Bartz and freshman Payten Luaders were octofinalists (top 16).

In the junior varsity division of LD, freshman Ben Croat was a semifinalist (top 4).

In novice IPDA, freshman Adli Jacobs was an octofinalist (top 16).

Keep a look out for other news from the team soon, including details about their spring team and scholarship auditions and the third annual “Big Dawgs Gotta Eat” performance showcase. Anyone interested in joining the team, or any alumnus of the team that would like to help coach/judge, can contact Ben Davis, director of forensics, at
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