Forensics Kicks Off Semester with Wins

Truman’s speech and debate team brought back 16 trophies at the semester kick-off at Webster University.

The team entered all six Lincoln-Douglas debaters in open, a field that included 51 competitors from places such as Lafayette University and Western Kentucky University—some of the top debate programs in the nation. Senior Maddie Ebert led the squad with a final round finish. Ebert took home the second place trophy and earned a sixth place speaker award. Senior Myra Milam and freshman Donny Richardson both made it to the quarterfinal round of elimination and Milam also earned a third place speaker award. Senior Nick Gorman made it to octofinals.

The team also had success on the individual events side. Leading the team on the speech side of things was senior Kristen Wright who placed fourth in extemporaneous speaking, fifth in rhetorical criticism and sixth in impromptu speaking. Freshman Anson Long-Seabra placed third in a field of 50 prose competitors, while sibling and senior Arielle Long-Seabra was awarded Excellence in Prose, an award that recognizes the top 20 percent of the field. Freshman Maple Atkins-Threats was awarded Excellence in Poetry and also placed fifth in after dinner speaking. Sophomore Dillon Laaker made it to semifinals in both extemporaneous speaking and impromptu speaking, events that also had more than 50 competitors entered.

“It was a great way to start the semester,” Kristi Scholten, team director, commented. “As we enter the final stretch towards the national championship, it is good to have a tournament that reaffirms our talent…but also lets us know that we can’t get lazy. I think we are starting to build good momentum to finish out the season strong.”

The team travels to UCM Valentine’s Day weekend to compete at the state championship tournament. Questions about speech and debate participation can be directed to Kristi Scholten at
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