Forensics Continues Early Season Success with Wins in Kentucky

Members of the Truman Forensics Union continued a trend of success as they headed to Bowling Green, Ky., for two tournaments hosted by Western Kentucky University and Ohio University.

During the first half of the swing tournament, sophomore Christian Johns (Carthage, Mo.) beat out 39 other competitors to reign as tournament champion in Lincoln-Douglas debate. Other highlights from this half of the swing included a third place finish in Poetry Interpretation from freshman Samantha Jones (Wheaton, Ill.), which qualified her for the national tournament at the end of the season.

In addition, other recognition included a qualification for sophomore Mel Kapitan, who received fourth in Poetry; a fourth place finish in Prose Interpretation and seventh place in Impromptu Speaking from sophomore Andrew Grojean (Blue Springs, Mo.); a fourth place finish in Extemporaneous Speaking and fifth place in Impromptu for freshman Jessica Petrie (Belleville, Ill.); and Octofinal finishes in Lincoln-Douglas by sophomore Elizabeth Hatting (Omaha, Neb.) and  juniors Sarah Backhaus (Liberty, Mo.) and Dylan Clark (St. Louis, Mo.). 

Truman’s Lincoln-Douglas squad beat students from Kentucky, Ohio, Missouri and more to take a third place debate sweepstakes award.

During the second tournament, Truman’s individual event competitors clinched a fourth place sweepstakes trophy.

In Dramatic Duo, sophomores Erin Williamson (Kansas City, Mo.) and Darius Taylor (Zion, Ill.) earned another national qualification by placing fourth. Samantha Jones repeated her third place finish in Poetry, while Jessica Petrie repeated her fourth place finish in Extemporaneous. Andrew Grojean rounded out the success of this half of the swing when he placed seventh in After Dinner Speaking.

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

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