McKendree Speech and Debate Takes Fifth Place at Webster

Wins 21 Individual Awards, Qualifies Two More Events for Nationals

(LEBANON, Ill., January 28, 2015) — McKendree University finished in fifth in overall program sweepstakes at Webster University’s Gorlok Gala and took home 21 individual awards. Fifty colleges and universities, including Boise State University, Washington University and Ohio State University attended the tournament on Jan. 23-25.

Representing McKendree were seniors Rebecca Blake, Josh Fleming and Spencer Marcum; juniors Lauren Apetz and Quinn McRoberts; sophomore Katie Reining; and first-years Alex Baldwin, Austin Brown, Emeri Farnam, Beth Graham, Brett Hanna, David Junge, Adam Kaul, Jode Luster, Briar North, Ariel Rodriguez, Gage Simmons and Hannah Zickefoose.

“The team really came through this weekend,” said Stephen Hagan, coach.  “In particular, our first-year students had excellent showings and really grew as performers.”

In individual events, Marcum advanced to elimination rounds in five events. He placed fourth in prose and fifth in drama, while finishing as a semifinalist in poetry. In addition, the duo of Blake and Marcum won first place in duo, while Marcum and Reining took second in improvisation. Blake also finished as a semifinalist in drama and in fifth place in improvisation with Fleming. Fleming won third place in programmed oral interpretation and reached semifinals in prose. Zickefoose took fifth place and top novice in programmed oral interpretation, while receiving an excellent award in impromptu. North reached semifinals in impromptu, as well as taking top novice and an excellent award in informative. Farnam reached semifinals in both prose and persuasion. Blake took third place in individual sweepstakes, while McKendree was fourth place in individual event sweepstakes.

In open parliamentary debate, the team of Baldwin and Simmons posted a 4-1 record. After receiving a bye in the double-octofinal round, they lost to William Jewell College and finished ninth. In novice Lincoln-Douglas debate, Baldwin went 4-2. After defeating Hillsdale College in quarterfinals, he lost to Sterling College to finish as a semifinalist. Baldwin also took fourth speaker in the division.

McKendree also qualified two more events for nationals. Fleming qualified for the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament in programmed oral interpretation, while debaters Baldwin and Simmons qualified for the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence.

McKendree will next compete at the Jackson Purchase Swing, hosted by Murray State University, on Feb. 7-8.


Group photo of Speech and Debate Team at Webster University

Representing McKendree University at the Gorlok Gala were, front row: Cory Freivogel, Emily Halter, Emeri Farnam, Hannah Zickefoose, Katie Reining and Alex Baldwin; back row, Spencer Marcum, Joe Blasdel, Coach Stephen Hagan, Briar North, Josh Fleming, Rebecca Blake, Quinn McRoberts, Adam Kaul and Gage Simmons.