McKendree Speech and Debate Team Closes Successful Fall Season

Debaters Rank Third in the Nation, Qualify for Nationals

Lebanon, Ill. — McKendree University’s speech and debate team closed its fall competition with three very successful tournament performances over two weekends, winning a total of 23 awards. Currently the team of Brent Nicholson and Brad Thomas is ranked third in the nation, while the team of Lucas Barker and Sarah DeBruyckere is 15th out of 282 total. Both teams have qualified for the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence. Spencer Marcum has qualified for the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament in programmed oral interpretation.

Thirteen colleges and universities attended Owensboro Community College’s Barbeque Capital of the World tournament in Kentucky on Nov. 8-9, including the University of Kentucky, Ball State and McNeese State. Representing McKendree were juniors Rebecca Blake, Josh Fleming, Cassie Kuberski and Spencer Marcum; and first-years Mary Makarishcheva, Rodney McBride and Katie Reining.

Marcum won first place in three events—programmed oral interpretation, poetry interpretation and dramatic interpretation—and took fourth place in poetry. Reining was the tournament champion in radio speaking, also placing second in informative speaking and fifth in prose interpretation. Fleming claimed second place in programmed oral interpretation and third place in after dinner speaking. Kuberski took second in persuasive speaking and seventh in programmed oral interpretation. Blake and Fleming also placed third in duo interpretation. Marcum won individual sweepstakes as the top overall performer at the tournament, while Fleming took fifth place. As a squad, McKendree took first place in individual events and third place overall.

Ten colleges and universities attended the Greater Wisconsin Swing, hosted by UW at Whitewater and UW at Madison on Nov. 16-17, including Bradley, Illinois State and the University of Northern Iowa. Representing McKendree were juniors Blake, Fleming, Kuberski and Marcum.

At the Whitewater half, McKendree advanced to the finals in two events. Marcum was second in programmed oral interpretation, while Blake and Fleming were sixth in duo interpretation. At the Madison half, McKendree advanced five events to finals. Marcum walked away with third place in poetry interpretation and programmed oral interpretation. Blake and Fleming won third place in duo interpretation. Fleming also took fourth in prose interpretation, while Blake took fifth place in after dinner speaking.

Thirteen colleges and universities attended Washburn University’s Top City Classic on Nov. 16-17, including the University of Colorado, Texas Tech, and the University of the Pacific. Representing McKendree were senior debaters Lucas Barker, Sarah DeBruyckere, Brent Nicholson, Brad Thomas and Amanda Walker.

Nicholson and Thomas posted a 6-2 record in prelims. They beat Cedarville University in octofinals, before losing to Texas Tech University in quarterfinals. The team of Barker and DeBruyckere went 4-4, just missing the break to elimination rounds.

Photo of Speech & Debate Team

McKendree University speech team members Spencer Marcum, front;
Cassie Kuberski, Katie Reining, Rebecca Blake and Josh Fleming.