McKendree Debate and Individual Events Team Prepares for Nationals

Lebanon, Ill. — Over the next few weeks, the McKendree University debate and individual events team will compete at four national tournaments.

“This has been a great year for the team,” said Joe Blasdel, debate and individual events coach. “We are in a great position to be very competitive at each of these national tournaments. I’m also excited for Lance Allen, Ben Reid, and Ian Reynolds – three seniors who have already won national championships.”

The team kicks off its nationals schedule by attending the Pi Kappa Delta (PKD) championship tournament hosted by Webster University on March 13-16. Attending PKD are seniors Lance Allen and Darren Meeker; junior Amanda Walker; sophomores Rebecca Blake and Spencer Marcum; and first-year Quinn McRoberts. Allen was last year’s national champion in extemporaneous speaking.

The team will then attend the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence (NPTE), hosted by the University of Nevada at Reno on March 17-20. Attending NPTE will be seniors Ben Reid and Ian Reynolds; and juniors Lucas Barker, Alex Cunningham, Sarah DeBruyckere, Mat Myles, Brent Nicholson and Brad Thomas. Myles and Thomas are currently the fifth ranked team in the nation, while Reid and Reynolds are eighth. Joe Blasdel, current NPTE vice-president, will serve as tournament director.

The same group will then travel to the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., to compete in the National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) championship tournament on March 22-25. Last year, Reid was named the top speaker at the tournament and was also selected as the NPDA national student representative.

Finally, McKendree will attend the American Forensic Association’s National Individual Events Tournament on April 5-8. Representing McKendree will be Lance Allen in extemporaneous speaking and Spencer Marcum in poetry and programmed oral interpretation.