Speech & Debate Team Ends Regular Season with Two State Champions

On to National Tournaments in March and April

(LEBANON, Ill., March 10, 2017) — The McKendree University Speech and Debate Team finished its season with two Missouri state championships – Andrew Wagner, a junior from Waterloo, Ill., in informative speaking and Emma Webster, a senior from Macedonia, Ill., in communication analysis. The team brought home an additional 27 awards over its last three tournaments: the Tiger Classic, the Missouri State Tournament and the Illinois State Tournament.

Thirteen colleges and universities, including Texas Tech University, Carlton College and Colorado State University, attended the University of Missouri’s Tiger Classic on Feb. 11-12. Representing McKendree were juniors Alex Baldwin, Beth Graham, Kaitlyn Hutchison and Gage Simmons; sophomore Adeja Powell; and first-years Virginia Parkinson, Brad Riedemann and Tyler Timmons.

Baldwin and Simmons advanced to elimination rounds with a 5-2 record. After advancing in double-octofinals, they finished as octofinalists (in ninth place) after losing to Rice University. They also finished in second place in the I-70 Cup Sweepstakes, which includes results from several Midwestern tournaments. Powell won first place speaker – her third win of the year – while Baldwin took eighth speaker.

Twelve colleges and universities, including Truman State University, the University of Nebraska, and Simpson College, attended the Missouri State Tournament hosted by the University of Central Missouri on Feb. 17-18. Representing McKendree were Dylan Comer, Katie Reining, Taylor Rossi, Alex Baldwin, Kaitlyn Hutchison, Adam Kaul, Andrew Wagner, Emma Webster, Grace Alexander, Kate Maag, Virginia Parkinson, Brad Riedemann, Isa Scaturro and Tyler Timmons.

Webster took home the state championship in communication analysis while also placing second in duo (with Reining), fourth in duo (with Comer) and fourth in prose. Wagner was the state champion in informative speaking and took fourth place in extemporaneous speaking. Reining finished second in after dinner speaking, third in persuasion, fifth in poetry and sixth in communication analysis. Alexander placed second in prose (and was Top Novice) as well as sixth in impromptu speaking. Rossi took third place in informative speaking, fourth place in communication analysis and sixth in persuasion. Finally, Comer finished fifth in programmed oral interpretation, while Maag took sixth in poetry (and was Top Novice). Webster placed second in individual sweepstakes, while Reining finished fourth. Riedemann went 3-1 in novice Lincoln-Douglas and finished as a semifinalist (third place). As a program, McKendree took second place in individual events sweepstakes, second in limited entry debate sweepstakes, and second place in overall sweepstakes.

Sixteen colleges and universities, including Bradley University, Northwestern University, and Illinois State University, attended the Illinois State Tournament, hosted by Northern Illinois University on March 4-5. Representing McKendree were Katie Reining and Andrew Wagner. Reining took sixth place in both persuasion and communication analysis, while Wagner placed seventh in informative speaking. This marks the first time that McKendree students have advanced to final rounds at the Illinois State Tournament, which is the most competitive state tournament in the nation.

The team will compete at a series of national tournaments in March and April.


Photo of Speech & Debate Team
Front row, Virginia Parkinson, Dylan Comer, Grace Alexander, Isa Scaturro, Katie Reining, Andrew Wagner, Taylor Rossi, Kate Maag, Emma Webster; back row, Tyler Timmons, Brad Riedemann, Kaitlyn Hutchison, Alex Baldwin and Brett Hanna.