McKendree Speech and Debate Team Takes Home 22 Awards

Tournaments at Southwest Baptist University, Loyola University

(LEBANON, Ill., October 6, 2015) - The McKendree University speech and debate team brought home a total of 22 awards from two tournaments over the last two weekends.

Eight colleges and universities, including Truman State University and the University of Wisconsin, competed at Southwest Baptist University on Oct. 3. Representing McKendree were juniors Dylan Comer, Katie Reining and Taylor Rossi; sophomore Hannah Zickefoose; and first-years Aliyah Smith and Emma Webster.

“Despite a much smaller entry, we came in second place as a team,” said Assistant Speech Coach Stephen Hagan. “That is attributable to the hard work and talent this group has.”

Zickefoose won tournament championships in both after dinner speaking and poetry interpretation, while also taking second and fifth place in programmed oral interpretation and extemporaneous speaking, respectively. Reining finished second in both after dinner speaking and informative speaking. Additionally, she placed third in poetry interpretation and sixth in prose interpretation. In dramatic interpretation, Comer took third place, while Webster finished fifth and also won Top Novice in the event. Finally, Rossi placed fourth in informative speaking and Smith took Top Novice in prose. In individual sweepstakes, Zickefoose came in second and Reining was fourth. As a school, McKendree finished in second place in team sweepstakes.

“We had an excellent weekend,” said Assistant Debate Coach Brent Nicholson. “Everyone’s hard work was on display, which yielded some well-earned success.”

Six colleges and universities, including Washburn and Appalachian State, attended Loyola University’s tournament, held Sept. 25-27. Representing McKendree were sophomores Alex Baldwin, Beth Graham, Adam Kaul, Jazzmine Mitchell and Gage Simmons; and first-year Justin Fausz.

At the first half, the team of Baldwin and Simmons finished with a 3-1 record. They finished in fifth place after losing in quarterfinals to Washburn University. The novice team of Fausz and Mitchell went 2-2, just missing the break to final rounds. Simmons also took eighth speaker at the tournament.

At the second half, Baldwin and Simmons posted a 4-1 record. After defeating Cedarville University in quarterfinals, they lost to another Cedarville in semifinals, taking third place at the tournament. The team of Graham and Kaul went 3-2 and finished as quarterfinalists. Baldwin and Simmons were recognized as the fourth and fifth place speakers, respectively.

The McKendree University speech and debate team will compete at the University of Central Missouri on Oct. 17-18.


Photo of Speech Team Members

McKendree speech team members competing at Southwest Baptist University were Taylor Rossi, Katie Reining, Aliyah Smith, Dylan Comer, Emma Webster and Hannah Zickefoose.



Photo of Debate Team Members

McKendree debate team members competing at Loyola University were Adam Kaul, Gage Simmons and Alex Baldwin, front row; Justin Fausz and Jazzmine Mitchell, back row.