Speech and Debate Team Wins 50 Awards in 3 Weekends

Seven Events Qualify for Nationals

(LEBANON, Ill., November 4, 2014) — The McKendree University speech and debate team competed in four tournaments in three recent weekends, winning a total of 50 awards and qualifying seven events for nationals.

“The last couple of weekends have been an incredible success for us,” said Joe Blasdel, speech and debate coach. “This is a tribute to both the talent and work ethic of this group of students throughout the semester.”

Representing McKendree at its home debate tournament on Oct. 17-19 were senior Trent Boyer; juniors Rodney McBride and Quinn McRoberts; sophomore Mary Makarishcheva; and first-years Alex Baldwin, Beth Graham, David Junge, Adam Kaul and Gage Simmons. At the first half of the tournament, Makarishcheva and McBride finished as quarterfinalists, while Baldwin and Simmons made it to octofinals. Graham and Junge won the junior division of the tournament. At the second half, Makarishcheva and McBride advanced to quarterfinals, while Baldwin and Simmons again finished as octofinalists. McBride was named seventh speaker overall (and was top speaker at the first half).

Representing McKendree at the Missouri Mule speech tournament, hosted by the University of Central Missouri on Oct. 18-19, were seniors Rebecca Blake, Josh Fleming and Spencer Marcum; sophomores Katie Reining and Taylor Rossi; and first-years Emeri Farnam, Briar North and Hannah Zickefoose. At the first half, Blake and Marcum won first place in duo, while Marcum took fourth in programmed oral interpretation. Fleming finished fourth in drama and Zickefoose received fourth in impromptu. At the second half, Blake and Marcum again won duo. Blake and Fleming took fifth in duo, while Farnam and Zickefoose got sixth place. Fleming received second in programmed oral interpretation, while Zickefoose took sixth. Marcum finished second in drama, and Reining got fourth in communication analysis. Fleming took seventh place in prose.

Blake, Fleming, Marcum, Reining and Rossi represented McKendree at the Golden Eagle speech tournament at John Brown University on Oct. 25-26. At the first half, Marcum won first in prose, second in poetry, and fifth in programmed oral interpretation. Reining placed first in communication analysis and second in informative speaking. Blake took second in after dinner speaking and fourth in drama. Fleming won second in drama, fourth in prose and fourth in programmed oral interpretation. Rossi finished seventh in poetry and was named top rookie in both poetry and persuasion. Finally, the duo of Blake and Fleming took second place, while Blake and Marcum took third. Marcum won individual sweepstakes and Blake took second place. McKendree finished second in individual events sweepstakes.

At the second half of the Golden Eagle, Marcum took first place in drama, second in poetry and second in prose. Reining again won first place in communication analysis and third in persuasion. Fleming finished third in programmed oral interpretation. Blake received fourth in drama. Rossi was again named top rookie in both poetry and persuasion. Blake and Marcum took third 3rd in duo. Marcum again won individual sweepstakes and was named overall individual sweepstakes champion. McKendree finished in fourth place in individual events sweepstakes.

Representing McKendree at the LE Norton speech tournament, hosted by Bradley University on Nov. 1-2, were seniors Blake, Fleming and Marcum; sophomores Reining and Rossi; and first-years Farnam, North and Zickefoose. Zickefoose took seventh place in novice programmed oral interpretation.

Currently one McKendree debate team has qualified for the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence: Mary Makarishcheva and Rodney McBride. In addition, McKendree has six events qualified for the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament: Reining in communication analysis, Blake and Marcum in duo interpretation, and Marcum in drama, poetry, programmed oral interpretation and prose.

McKendree students will compete at Wheaton College on Nov. 7-8, Owensboro Community College on Nov. 15 and Washburn University on Nov. 15-16.


Speech & Debate Team 

Speech team members representing McKendree University at the Missouri Mule tournament were, front row, Hannah Zickefoose, Emeri Farnam, Spencer Marcum, Rebecca Blake, Josh Fleming and Briar North; back row, Taylor Rossi, Katie Reining.