Speech and Debate Teams Take Fifth at William Jewell and at Indy

Lebanon, Ill. — The McKendree University speech and debate team opened its season with a strong performance at two tournaments. The debaters advanced to semifinals and took fifth place overall at the William Jewell College swing tournament in Liberty, Mo. on Sept. 20-22. Members of the speech team advanced in seven events and took fifth place overall at the University of Indianapolis on Sept. 21.

“This was an excellent start to the season for our speech and debate team,” said Joe Blasdel, coach. “While I’m pleased with the results, I’m more pleased with the work the students have done to prepare during the summer and the fall.”

Eighteen colleges and universities, including the University of Missouri, Pepperdine and Texas Tech attended the William Jewell College tournament. Representing McKendree were seniors Lucas Barker, Sarah DeBruyckere, Brent Nicholson, Brad Thomas and Amanda Walker; junior Caleb Vines; sophomores Rodney McBride and Quinn McRoberts; and first-year Mary Makarishcheva.

At the first half of the tournament, the team of Nicholson and Thomas posted a 4-1 record. In octofinals, they defeated Concordia University on the topic of regulating private military contractors. In quarterfinals, Nicholson and Thomas triumphed over the University of Texas on the issue of access to firearms. They lost in semifinals to Washburn University. In a field of 100 debaters, Thomas finished as the eighth place speaker, while Nicholson took 14th place. In the junior division, Makarishcheva and McBride finished as semifinalists after going 3-2 in prelims. Makarishcheva was the ninth best speaker and McBride placed tenth.

In the second half of the tournament, Nicholson and Thomas also went 4-1. In octofinals, they beat the University of Texas on a topic dealing with raising the debt ceiling. They lost in semifinals to Southern Illinois University. Thomas and Nicholson were the sixth and eighth place speakers, respectively. In the junior division, McBride won top speaker, while Makarishcheva took sixth place.

Twelve colleges and universities, including Bradley, Butler and the University of Illinois, competed at the University of Indianapolis. Representing McKendree were senior Spencer Marcum; juniors Rebecca Blake and Josh Fleming; sophomore Cassie Kuberski; and first-year Anique Hernandez.

Marcum advanced in four events to finals. His best finish was third place in programmed oral interpretation. He also took fourth in poetry, fifth in drama, and sixth in prose. Fleming took fifth place in programmed oral interpretation, while Blake placed sixth in drama. Blake and Fleming also placed sixth in duo interpretation.

The McKendree speech and debate team next competes at Loyola University in Chicago.

Photo of Debate Team

McKendree University debaters competing in the tournament at William Jewell College were Brad Thomas, Amanda Walker, Brent Nicholson, Mary Makarishcheva, Quinn McRoberts, Rodney McBride, Sarah DeBruyckere, Lucas Barker and Caleb Vines.


Photo of Speech Team

McKendree University speech team members competing in the forensics tournament at the University of Indianapolis were Josh Fleming, Rebecca Blake, Anique Hernandez, Cassie Kuberski and Spencer Marcum.