Speech and Debate Team Competes in Comprehensive Tournament

The Truman speech and debate team traveled to Kansas City the weekend of March 24-25 to compete against 68 other universities in the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament.

Senior Andrew Grojean, a communication major from Blue Springs, Mo., brought home five individual awards, including seventh place overall out of approximately 400 competitors.

Pi Kappa Delta is the speech and debate fraternal organization to which Truman belongs and includes teams from all over the nation.

Besides taking home the seventh place overall trophy, Grojean placed fourth in informative speaking out of 86 competitors and sixth in impromptu speaking out of 198 competitors. Grojean advanced to the quarterfinal round of duo interpretation with his partner, sophomore A.J. Taula, a communication and pre-education/secondary double major from Independence, Mo. Grojean also made it to quarterfinals in dramatic interpretation.

Sophomore Kristen Wright, an English major from Liberty, Mo., made the national final round of extemporaneous speaking, placing fifth out of 126 competitors.

Taula had a second duo with sophomore partner Arielle Long-Seabra, a business administration and accounting double major from Blue Springs, Mo., that made it to the quarterfinal round, while Long-Seabra also quarterfinaled her dramatic interpretation.

Freshmen Alex Eichstadt, an economics major from Blue Springs, Mo., and Kate Pillen, a communication major from Rochelle, Ill., were given excellent awards—meaning they placed in the top 30 percent of the field in an event. Pillen earned excellent awards in both prose interpretation and poetry interpretation while Eichstadt earned his in extemporaneous speaking.

The team also had success in open Lincoln-Douglas debate. Wright made the semifinal round of debate while also taking home a sixth place speaker award. Sophomore Myra Milam, a communication disorders major from Elkland, Mo., advanced to the quarterfinal round and earned a fifth place speaker award. Sophomore Nick Gorman, an economics and mathematics double major from Kansas City, Mo., made it to the octofinal round and was the ninth-place speaker. Freshman Maddie Ebert, a political science major from Omaha, Neb., also advanced to the octofinal round.

“This was a tough tournament in itself, and a great warm up for the upcoming National Forensics Association National Championship Tournament in April,” commented director of forensics Kristi Scholten.

This tournament brought the team’s regular season to a close.

The National Championship Tournament will take place at Ohio University, April 19-23. The team has qualified 22 individual events entries and six debate entries for the tournament.

For more information about the team, visit forensics.truman.edu.

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