Forensics Union Wins Big in Nebraska

Seventeen members of the Truman Forensic Union braved sub-zero temperatures Jan. 14-16 in Seward, Neb., for the first annual “Sun and Sleet Swing.” The team returned with more than 30 awards from the set of two invitational speech and debate tournaments co-hosted by Concordia University and Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, Calif. The debaters ranked second in individual events sweepstakes for the Concordia half of the weekend and third in the Azusa half. Additionally, the team placed third in the debate and overall sweepstakes categories.

Truman debaters placed three teams in elimination rounds of parliamentary debate including the team of Tyson Helder, senior political science and communication double major from Sioux Falls, S.D., and Sam Hodge, freshman communication and political science major from Blue Springs, Mo., who reached the tournament semifinals. Reaching the quarterfinals were the freshman team of Sarah Archer, pre-business administration and accounting major from Kansas City, Mo., and Cody Snyder, political science and economics major from Neosho, Mo., along with the duo of Meghana Kunkala, senior biology major from Hattiesburg, Miss., and Dylan Rothermel, freshman chemistry major from Homewood, Ill. Five out of the top 10 speaker awards went to Truman team members as well.

In the individual events competition, Kunkala captured the tournament championship in extemporaneous speaking while Snyder earned the same honor in the impromptu speaking category. Elizabeth Hobbs, junior biology major, brought back a range of honors including second place finishes in both persuasive speaking and communication analysis events. Hobbs took second in the quadrathon for her diverse performance overall. Stefani Wittenauer, freshman political science and communication double major from Belleville, Ill., and Erin Palmer, freshman political science and justice systems double major from Kansas City, Mo., placed second in duo interpretation. Wittenauer also ranked third in the quadrathon.

The Azusa portion of the tournament brought similar successes to many of these students, adding Alex Hayden, freshman psychology major from Jefferson City, Mo., to the list of winners. Hayden took fifth in impromptu speaking.

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