Forensic Union Divides and Conquers

Truman’s Forensic Union, speech and debate team, split the squad Nov. 8-9 to attend two different tournaments. Some students traveled to the Red Bird Invitational at Illinois State University in Normal, Ill., while others competiting in individual events traveled to the Lynn Ross/Alumni Swing at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan.
During the first day of the Red Bird Invitational, senior Max Highsmith advanced to the quarterfinal round in open Lincoln-Douglas debate. Freshman Kelsey Barnes also had success in the open division, receiving second speaker. The next day Highsmith repeated his quarterfinals success.
At Kansas State University, the speech team also had strong finishes. On the first day, the team had six events in the final rounds. Freshman Brian Kantanka placed second in dramatic interpretation. Sophomore Adrien Zambrano placed fifth in impromptu speaking. Sophomore Anson Long-Seabra took second in poetry interpretation. Sophomore Mahliyah Adkins-Threats placed fifth in persuasive speaking and fourth in both after-dinner speaking and poetry interpretation. During the second day, Kantanka took first in dramatic interpretation, Long-Seabra placed first in after-dinner speaking and second in poetry interpretation. Adkins-Threats also took first in poetry interpretation and fourth in persuasive speaking.
The Forensic Union finished traveling for the fall, but will return next semester. Students in individual events will travel to the University of Northern Iowa and Wartburg College Jan. 17-18 to compete in the annual Iowa Swing.
Participation in the forensics program is open to any student in good standing, regardless of prior speech and debate experience.  For more information, visit or contact Christopher Outzen, director of individual events, at or Kevin Minch, interim director of forensics, at

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