Forensics Earns First Place Overall at State Championship


At the MAFA State Championship Tournament hosted by Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Missouri, the Truman Forensics team earned an overall first place state champion finish, in addition to earning first place in both individual events and debate sweepstakes.

Many students received individual honors based on their speeches, debates and performances. All 13 students in attendance performed well enough to be recognized at the tournament awards ceremony, due to 36 of the 46 total speeches and debates the team entered making it to final rounds. Students who entered into at least five speech categories across two or more speech genres were entered into a special pentathlon sweepstakes, and those who competed in at least one debate event and had eligibility in pentathlon sweepstakes were also entered into the overall forensicator sweepstakes.

The team also qualified for the Director’s Award, given to the team with the highest point accumulation over time, and earned second place for the Quality Award based on the percentage of students in outrounds/finals compared to the number of total slots the team entered at the tournament.

In open parliamentary debate:

•    Juniors Ella Schnake and Megan Ford finished second and were the state champions. Schnake also earned third place speaker.

•    Freshman Alex Peterson was named second place speaker.

In NFA-Lincoln Douglas debate:

•    Junior Elijah Baum made it to the quarterfinals.

•    Sophomore Eli Bartz made it to the semifinals, results pending, and was third speaker.

•    Freshman Aiden Breesawitz also made it to semifinals, results pending, and earned fourth place speaker.

In novice IPDA:

•    Freshman Briggs Maynor was the state champion and earned seventh place speaker.

•    Freshman Anna Hans was the first place speaker.

•    Freshman Daniel Nzoiwu earned third place speaker.

From the speech team, varsity members performed exceptionally well:

•    Junior Jillian Humke earned second place in after-dinner speaking and sixth in program oral interpretation.

•    Junior Lucah McCullough finished fifth in original oratory and sixth in after-dinner speaking.

•    Ford was the state champion in original oratory, earned third in after-dinner speaking and fourth place in both communication analysis and prose. She received fourth place in pentathlon and was second in the overall forensicator sweepstakes.

•    Schnake was the state champion in communication analysis, prose, poetry and duo with Briggs Maynor. She also received second in dramatic interpretation and impromptu speaking. She earned the state champion title in both pentathlon and the overall forensicator sweepstakes.

•    Senior Maya Krump finished fourth in both informative speaking and original oratory.

The novice/freshmen speech team also had a strong showing:

•    Hans earned top novice and third place in dramatic interpretation, fourth in persuasion and sixth in poetry.

•    Brynna Seim received fourth place in after-dinner speaking and sixth in informative.

•    Jessie Philips finished third in poetry and second in both prose and duo, in which she also received top novice with Maynor.

•    Maynor was awarded fifth place in dramatic interpretation, fourth and top novice in program oral interpretation, third place in poetry, top novice and second place in duo with Phillips and was also state champions in duo with Schnake. He received third place in pentathlon.

•    Alex Peterson was the state champion and top novice in both after-dinner speaking and impromptu, receiving first place in each. They also earned top novice and second place in both original oratory and prose. Peterson placed second in pentathlon at the tournament.

In total, the team earned 14 state champion titles. New qualifications to the NFA national competition in April include Hans in dramatic interpretation and poetry, Bartz in extemporaneous, Seim in informative speaking and Philips in prose. The team currently has a total of 35 individual events and four Lincoln-Douglas debaters qualified to go to NFA, rising above their previous entry of 31 total slots at last year’s national tournament.
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