Truman's Forensic Team Captures Multiple Championships at State Tournament

Fourteen members of the Truman Forensic Union brought the full force of the team’s preparation to Drury University in Springfield, Mo., Feb. 17-19, for the Missouri Association of Forensic Activities’ annual State Championship Tournament. Truman captured four individual state championships and qualified one student for the prestigious Interstate Oratorical Contest. The squad brought home a total of 26 different awards.

Elizabeth Hobbs, a senior biology major from Newton, Kan., took state championships in impromptu speaking and the pentathlon. Meghana Kunkala, a senior biology major from Chino, Calif., took state championships in extemporaneous speaking and rhetorical criticism.

In addition to these victories, Truman captured other top honors. Truman rounded-out its stellar performance in extemporaneous speaking with three additional awards. Trevor Alexander, a senior economics and English double major from Gladstone, Mo., took third, while Chris Dove, a sophomore biology and sociology/anthropology double major from Chesterfield, Mo., took fourth and was the top-ranked novice competitor in the tournament. Hobbs placed fifth in the event. In rhetorical criticism, Hobbs joined Kunkala in finals with a fifth place finish. In informative speaking, Stefani Wittenauer, a junior communication and political science double major from Belleville, Ill., took third place, while Hobbs took fifth.

In Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Dylan Rothermel, a sophomore economics major from Homewood, Ill., was the runner-up to the state champion from Drury University. Three Truman debaters were among the top 10 speakers in this event, with Hobbs placing sixth, Kunkala placing eighth, and Rothermel placing 10th.
In parliamentary debate, Truman took three teams to elimination rounds. The team of Kunkala and Rothermel reached the semifinal round before losing to the eventual state champions from the University of Missouri. The team of Sara Archer, a junior pre-business administration and pre-accounting double major from Riverside, Mo., and Wittenauer, along with the team of Chris Girouard, a sophomore political science and Spanish double major from Chesterfield, Mo., and Jason Mo, a sophomore chemistry major from Chesterfield, Mo., reached the quarterfinal round. Truman had four of the top 10 speakers in debate, including Rothermel in second place, Kunkala in fourth, Hobbs in sixth, and Archer in 10th.

In overall tournament honors, Truman took second in debate sweepstakes after being narrowly edged-out by Drury University. Truman placed third in both individual events sweepstakes and combined debate and individual events sweepstakes.

Capping off the event was Hobbs’ second-place finish in Original Oratory, qualifying her to compete at the prestigious Interstate Oratorical Contest, to take place in April in Pensacola, Fla.

National championship competition will begin in mid-March.
Previous Next