Two National Champions, 20 Awards For McKendree Speech and Debate

McKendree Speech and Debate Team Takes Third at Nationals

Debaters Gain Experience for the Future at NPDA and NPTE

Photo of Speech & Debate TeamThe McKendree speech and debate team took home two championships and 20 other awards in spring semester tournaments.

At the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament, held at Ohio University in March, McKendree competed against 78 other colleges and universities. In poetry, Spencer Marcum ’15 won all of his preliminary rounds and was recognized as Top Superior and the Pi Kappa Delta National Champion. In addition, he took 4th Superior in duo, Excellent in prose and drama, and Good in programmed oral interpretation. Hannah Zickefoose ’18 swept her preliminary rounds in after dinner speaking and took Top Superior. She was also a Pi Kappa Delta national champion. She was also named Good in duo, impromptu, and programmed oral interpretation.

The speech and debate team ended its season strong, with excellent performances at the National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) Championship Tournament, the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence (NPTE), and the American Forensic Association (AFA) National Individual Events Tournament this spring.

Simply qualifying for the NPTE is difficult, explained Coach Joe Blasdel, as teams must advance to elim debates at four tournaments and win at least three elimination debates during the regular season.

“For all eight members of the debate team - five of them first-year students - the NPTE was their first national tournament. I’m incredibly proud of their performance and very excited for this team over the next few years.”

“I am proud of these students, as this is a tournament that even being at is an honor,” said Dr. Stephen Hagan, coach. “Beyond that honor, our results were in the top half of the tournament.”