Truman Forensics awarded 2017 Missouri Debate Champion!

Truman Forensics awarded 2017 Missouri Debate Champion!

February 20, 2017

Truman State University’s Forensic Union had a successful weekend attending the Missouri Association of Forensic Activities Championship Tournament hosted this year by the University of Central Missouri. The team earned the Harold Lawson Debate Sweepstakes Award in the open division, making them the top debate team in Missouri. In addition to debate sweepstakes, the team took home numerous other individual awards and state titles.

In individual events, sophomores Jared Roberts and Johnathan Christy each advanced to the final round of extemporaneous speaking, with Roberts earning 6th and Christy earning 5th. Roberts was also named top extemporaneous speaking novice in Missouri. In impromptu speaking, sophomore Jonathan Rogers earned 8th place and freshman Austin Sopko earned 3rd, making Sopko the top Missouri novice in the event. Finally, senior Adrien Zambrano capped off his Missouri speech career by winning the state champion title in prose interpretation.

Truman Forensics competed in two categories of debate, including parliamentary debate and Lincoln-Douglas debate. In the novice division of parliamentary debate, freshman Caleb Daniels was named 6th best speaker in the division. Jared Roberts was 5th best speaker and freshman Luke Frogge was named 3th best speaker. Frogge was partnered with Roberts in the competition and Daniels was partnered with freshman Noah Martin. Together, these four debaters swept through novice parliamentary debate and closed out the division, making them co-champions in Missouri. This is the 5th consecutive state championship for Truman State University in novice parliamentary debate.

In the open division of parliamentary debate, Johnathan Christy was named 5th best speaker. Christy and sophomore Tyler Behymer competed together in the division and advanced all the way to the final where they were named state champions in parliamentary debate. This is Christy’s second championship in the event, having won the novice division title last year.

In Lincoln-Douglas debate, Caleb Daniels, Luke Frogge, and Jared Roberts all advanced to semi-finals in the novice division. Based on preliminary round seeding, Daniels advanced over Roberts to the final while Frogge debated in the semi-final round and prevailed. As a result, Daniels and Frogge closed out the final round, making them co-champions in novice Lincoln-Douglas debate. Daniels was also named 6th best speaker in the event, Roberts was named 5th, and Frogge took the top speaker award, his 3rd state championship of the tournament.

In open Lincoln-Douglas, Tyler Behymer advanced to the quarterfinal round. Johnathan Christy advanced to the final round to successfully defend his state title, earning his 2nd consecutive state championship in open Lincoln-Douglas debate. Christy was also named the best Missouri speaker in the event, his 3rd state championship of the tournament.

The team will send a small entry of Lincoln-Douglas debaters to the Illinois State University/Western Kentucky University Nationals Warm-up tournament at Illinois State’s campus in Bloomington-Normal, IL on February 25th and 26th.

Participation in the forensics program is open to any Truman student in good standing, regardless of prior speech and debate experience.  For more information on how to get involved, visit or contact Director of Forensics, Christopher Outzen at, or Craig Hennigan, Assistant Director of Forensics at

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