McKendree Speech and Debate Team Finishes Regular Season Strong

18 Awards at Loyola, Missouri’s State Tournament

(LEBANON, Ill., March 2, 2016) - McKendree University’s speech and debate team took home 18 awards in two recent weekends, including two team sweepstakes awards at Missouri’s state tournament.

“This team has worked hard throughout the year and our late season success is a testament to that work,” said Joe Blasdel, coach. “This team has both the ability and discipline to put together some excellent performances at nationals.”

Fifteen colleges and universities, including Rice, Purdue and the University of Missouri, attended Loyola University’s National Warmup on Feb. 12-14. Representing McKendree were senior Rodney McBride and sophomores Alex Baldwin, Adam Kaul and Gage Simmons. Kaul and McBride posted a 5-3 record, finishing as double-octofinalists. Baldwin and Simmons also went 5-3 and were recognized as double-octofinalists.

Sixteen colleges and universities, including Truman State and the University of Nebraska, attended Missouri’s state tournament at Webster University on Feb. 19-20. Representing McKendree were juniors Dylan Comer, Katie Reining and Taylor Rossi; sophomores Beth Graham, Kaitlyn Hutchison, David Junge, Jazzmine Mitchell and Hannah Zickefoose; and first-years Justin Fausz, Matthew Hendricks, Adeja Powell, Aliyah Smith, Andrew Wagner and Emma Webster.

In individual events, Reining won first place in after dinner speaking, which allowed her to showcase her speech at the awards assembly. She also placed sixth in programmed oral interpretation. Comer and Webster took second place in duo, while they finished third in programmed oral interpretation and sixth in persuasion, respectively. Zickefoose placed second in poetry and fourth in programmed oral interpretation. Rossi and Wagner finished fifth in duo, while Wagner also took sixth in prose. Zickefoose placed fourth in individual sweepstakes, while McKendree placed third in individual event sweepstakes.

In open debate, the team of Fausz and Junge posted a 2-2 record, finishing as semifinalists. Powell was recognized as the second place speaker, while Junge took fourth. In novice debate, the team of Hutchison and Mitchell also went 2-2 but just missed advancing. Hutchison was named the sixth place speaker in the novice division.

McKendree will next compete at Pi Kappa Delta’s National Comprehensive Tournament, hosted by the University of Kentucky on March 16-20.


Photo of Speech and Debate Team

Competing for McKendree University at the Missouri Association of Forensics Activities tournament were speech and debate team members (left to right, front row) Taylor Rossi, Katie Reining, Andrew Wagner, Hannah Zickefoose; back row, Matthew Hendricks, Emma Webster, Dylan Comer, Justin Fausz and Aliyah Smith.