McKendree Speech Team Takes First in Three Events at Murray State

Lebanon, Ill. — The McKendree University speech team took home 13 awards this weekend, including Spencer Marcum’s win as the top overall performer at the second half. Fourteen colleges and universities, including Western Kentucky University, the University of Alabama, and Belmont University attended Murray State University’s Jackson Purchase Swing on Feb. 8-9. Representing McKendree were juniors Rebecca Blake, Josh Fleming and Spencer Marcum; sophomore Cassie Kuberski; and first-year Katie Reining.

“This was a small but highly competitive tournament,” said Stephen Hagan, assistant coach. “Western Kentucky and Alabama are two of the top teams in the nation and we held our own. The first day we struggled, but the team did what they have done all year and kept their heads up and had a very strong showing the second day. I am very proud of the work they put in and it showed here. Even those that did not make the final round were competitive across the board.”

At the first half of the tournament, McKendree advanced four events to finals. Marcum took fourth place in programmed oral interpretation and fifth in dramatic interpretation. Reining was first in novice prose and second in communication analysis.

The team had substantially better results in the second half, advancing in eight events to finals. Marcum took first place in programmed oral interpretation (his fourth win of the year), third in both dramatic interpretation and poetry interpretation. He was recognized as the top individual performer at the second half. Fleming placed fourth in programmed oral interpretation, while Fleming and Blake were sixth in duo interpretation. Reining was fourth in radio speaking, while taking first place in novice communication analysis and second in novice prose interpretation.

With Marcum’s success in dramatic interpretation this weekend, McKendree now has three events qualified for the prestigious American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament: Marcum in programmed oral interpretation and dramatic interpretation, and Fleming in programmed oral interpretation.

The McKendree speech team will compete next at the Missouri State Tournament in Warrensburg, while the debate team competes at Loyola University’s National Warm-up tournament.


Photo of the Speech Team at Murray State

Katie Reining, Rebecca Blake, Cassie Kuberski (seated); Josh Fleming and Spencer Marcum (standing).