Truman Forensics Perform Well at Tournament

A 21-member contingent of the Truman Forensics Union ventured north Jan. 20-22 to Concordia University in Seward, Neb., for the “Sun and Sleet Swing,” a series of two separate tournaments hosted by Concordia University (aka “The Sleet”) and Azusa Pacific University (aka “The Sun”). Truman posted one of its most successful showings of the season, placing eight teams in elimination rounds of debate during the weekend, and capturing several individual and team honors.

Truman took second in debate sweepstakes at Concordia’s “Sleet Invitational,” while placing four parliamentary debate teams in elimination rounds. The team of Meghana Kunkala, a senior biology major from Chino, Calif., and Dylan Rothermel, a sophomore economics major from Homewood, Ill., reached the tournament’s final round, eliminating teams from the University of Missouri, the University of the Pacific and Drury University, before losing to Azusa Pacific on a 2-1 decision. Additionally, Elizabeth Hobbs, a senior biology major from Newton, Kan., and Keith Schnakenberg, a junior political science and communication double major from Buffalo, Mo., reached the semifinal round before dropping to the eventual champions from Azusa. Two additional teams rounded-out Truman’s elimination-round contingent, with the teams of Sara Archer, a sophomore pre-business administration and pre-accounting double major from Riverside, Mo., and Stefani Wittenauer, a junior communication and political science double major from Belleville, Ill., and Chris Dove, a freshman biology and sociology/anthropology double major from Chesterfield, Mo., and Trevor Alexander, a senior economics and English double major from Gladstone, Mo., reaching the octafinal (“sweet 16”) round.

In individual speaking events, Hobbs was tournament champion in quadrathon, which determines the best overall performance of individual students in speech events at a tournament. She also captured an impressive tournament championship in rhetorical criticism, second place in extemporaneous speaking and sixth place in persuasive speaking. Archer joined Hobbs in the final round of extemporaneous speaking with a third-place finish. Wittenauer finished second in informative speaking, while Casey Sharp, a freshman political science and communication double major from St. Joseph, Mo., took fourth in impromptu speaking.

Truman returned to competition on Jan. 22 to face a slightly expanded field of competitors. Truman took third in debate sweepstakes and again placed four teams in the top 16 of the tournament. Octafinalist teams included David “Ben” Holley, a senior political science and communication double major from Neosho, Mo., and Mariam Savabi, a sophomore health science major from Maryland Heights, Mo., Hobbs and Schnakenberg, Kunkala and Rothermel, and Alexander and Dove. Holley was ranked sixth speaker in the tournament, while Savabi placed 10th. Kristen Moore, a freshman political science and philosophy and religion double major from Creve Coeur, Mo., took third in after-dinner speaking, while Kristel Givogue, a freshman pre-business administration and English double major from O’Fallon, Mo., took sixth in persuasive speaking.
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