Truman Forensics Students Capture Sixteen Awards in a Two-Tournament Weekend

Eleven students from Truman’s Forensic Union braved the arctic chill of Seward, Neb., Jan. 16-18 for the “Sleet and Sun Swing,” a weekend of two tournaments co-hosted by Concordia University of Seward and Bethel College of St. Paul.

Truman won second place overall team in debate at both halves of the tournament and third-place overall team of four-year colleges in attendance at both halves. The team also secured a new qualification for the national championships and racked-up an additional 13 awards. Sixteen colleges and universities, from as far away as Louisiana, were in attendance.

At the Concordia-sponsored half of the tournament, freshman Andrew Grojean from Blue Springs, Mo., took third place in prose interpretation, qualifying him for the National Forensic Association Championships in April.  This is his third event qualification for the national tournament in only four months of collegiate competition.

Debaters at the first half of the tournament secured numerous team and speaker awards. The parliamentary debate teams of freshman Ben Reid from Kansas City, Mo., sophomore Barbara Gillard from Jackson, Mo., freshman Emily Wagman from Springfield, Mo., and freshman Elizabeth Hatting from Omaha, Neb., each reached the semifinals of their portion of the tournament. Reid reached the semifinals of the Lincoln-Douglas debate portion of the tournament. Gillard was ranked fourth-best speaker in the Lincoln-Douglas division and seventh in the parliamentary division. Wagman was the top-ranked speaker in the parliamentary division, followed by Reid in fourth, and Hatting in sixth.

During the second half of the tournament, hosted by Bethel, Gillard and Reid reprised their role in semifinals of the second parliamentary tournament, while Gillard was ranked second speaker and Reid, third. Hatting reached the  finals of the competition in persuasive speaking, where she took sixth place.

Students will travel next to the Gorlok Gala, hosted by Webster University, Jan. 30-Feb. 1, in St. Louis.

The Truman Forensic Union is open to all interested students regardless of previous interscholastic or intercollegiate speech and debate experience. Students interested in entering competition for the 2009-2010 season should contact a member of the coaching staff at 785.5677 or
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