Forensics Team Opens Season with Wins

In the first weekend of competition for the semester, members of the Truman Forensics Union opened their season with multiple wins on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., at the annual Boilermaker Special Forensics Tournament.

Truman took second place in Debate Sweepstakes, which is a measure of overall team quality, and earned nine new qualifications to the national championship tournament.

The weekend’s victories placed Truman ahead of colleges from Texas, Michigan and across the Midwest, including perennial Lincoln-Douglas contenders Central Michigan University.

In Lincoln-Douglas, all four of the debaters advanced to elimination rounds, qualifying the entire varsity squad for competition at the national championship tournament next March.

Sophomores Christian Johns (Carthage, Mo.) and Elizabeth Hatting (Omaha, Neb.) were tournament co-champions after winning their semifinal rounds. Juniors Sarah Backhaus (Liberty, Mo.) and Dylan Clark (St. Louis, Mo.) were quarterfinalists.

In individual events, freshman Jessica Petrie (Bellville, Ill.) placed first in Impromptu Speaking and second in Extemporaneous Speaking in her first collegiate competition. Senior Susan Presley (Austin, Texas) also placed sixth in Impromptu. Sophomore Andrew Grojean (Blue Springs, Mo.) placed second in After Dinner Speaking and fifth in Prose Interpretation.

“Anytime you can break 100 percent of your debate slots, that shows a level of intensity that will serve the team well over the course of a season,” said Kris Stroup, varsity debate coach.

Next week, the team travels to Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Ky., for another competition.  

Anyone interested in competing in forensics should contact Kristi Scholten, director of forensics, at

Previous Next