Truman Forensics Maintains Decade-Long Streak of State Titles

Members of the Truman Forensic Union maintained a long streak of success at the Missouri Association of Forensic Activities State Championships (MAFA) Feb. 20-21 at Metropolitan Community College-Longview, in Lee’s Summit, Mo.

The weekend’s results maintain a decade-long streak of winning one or more state titles at the event. Truman won the state championship in debate sweepstakes, placed third in individual events sweepstakes and second in the overall category.

In addition to the championship in debate, junior Susan Presley of Austin, Texas captured the title in after dinner speaking, while freshman Erin Williamson of Kansas City, Mo., captured the state championship in rhetorical criticism.

In total, eight new events were qualified for the National Forensic Association National Championship Tournament in April.

Debate competitors also amassed an impressive number of awards with freshman Christian Johns of Carthage, Mo., reaching the final round of Lincoln-Douglas debate, taking second. Johns and her partner, junior Sarah Backhaus of Liberty, Mo., reached semifinals of the open parliamentary debate division, as did senior Christopher Girouard of Chesterfield, Mo., and junior Mark Buchheit of Carthage, Mo. Backhaus also reached the quarterfinals of the Lincoln-Douglas division.

This concludes the invitational/qualification series of the forensics season. Students will travel next to the National Parliamentary Debate Association Championships, March 25-31, in Stockton, Calif., and the National Forensic Association Championships, April 15-21, in Springfield, Mo.

The Truman Forensic Union is open to any interested student, regardless of major. No previous experience in interscholastic or intercollegiate forensics is necessary. Students interested in competing for the 2009-2010 academic year should contact the director, Kevin Minch, at or 785.5677.

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