McKendree Speech and Debate Team Concludes Fall with 10 First-Place Finishes

(LEBANON, Ill., December 8, 2022) – The McKendree University speech and debate team finished its fall season with 30 awards, including 10 first-place finishes. McKendree now has four students qualified for nationals in eight events: Jayden Touchette of Millstadt, Ill. (drama, programmed oral interpretation, duo, and impromptu speaking), Madeline Trinity of Millstadt, Ill. (prose and drama), Khaleo Price of Belleville, Ill. (duo and after dinner speaking), and Aaron Brown of Albion, Ill. (Lincoln-Douglas debate).

At San Joaquin Delta College’s Mustang Invitational on Nov. 4, Touchette won first place in both drama and impromptu speaking while placing second in programmed oral interpretation. Trinity also took second place in prose and third place in drama.

At the University of the Pacific’s Paul Winters and Pat Kennedy Invitational, which was held from Nov. 4-6, Brown won first place in the junior Lincoln-Douglas debate after going undefeated in preliminary competitions. Brown was also recognized as the second-place speaker in the division. Touchette took second place in programmed oral interpretation and third place in impromptu speaking. Trinity placed third in both prose and drama. As a team, McKendree finished in third place.

At Webster University’s Study Break tournament on Dec. 3, 13 McKendree students combined to win first place in team sweepstakes. These students include Quinn Atchison of Victoria, British Columbia; Codi Bacon of Airdrie, Alberta, Canada; Gage Blimling of Murrayville, Ill.; Aaron Brown of Albion, Ill.; Aspen Duggar of Johnston City, Ill.; Colin Gibson of Kalamazoo, Mich.; Amazing Grasle of Columbia, Ill.; Grace Gross of Cottage Hills, Ill.; Tyus Jackson of Normal, Ill.; Drew Johnson of Glen Ellyn, Ill.; Ashton Malady of Bonne Terre, Mo.; Emma McIlhargie of Birch Run, Mich.; and Gracie Vincent of Palm Beach, Fla. In junior debate, Brown and McIlhargie won first place after going undefeated while also taking second- and third-place speaker, respectively. Gibson and Vincent also won first place in the novice division, finishing as the second- and eighth-place speaker in the division. Finally, Grasle and Malady posted an even record, taking 14th- and 11th-place speaker awards.

McKendree University will compete next at Webster University’s Gorlok Gala from January 27-29, 2023.


Study Break 2022

Study Break: (front) Gracie Vincent, Colin Gibson, Aaron Brown, Emma McIlhargie, Amazing Grasle, (back) Gage Blimling, Tyus Jackson, Drew Johnson, Aspen Duggar, Codi Bacon, Grace Gross, Quinn Atchsion



Pacific: Madeline Trinity, Aaron Brown, Jayden Touchette