Truman forensics earns state championships

Truman forensics earns state championships

February 27, 2019

by Truman Forensics Staff

Truman Forensics closed its regular season on February 23rd with an incredible showing at the Missouri Association of Forensic Activities (MAFA) Championship Tournament, hosted this year by Webster University in St. Louis. The team earned 14 state championships, including 1st place in Harold Lawson Debate Sweepstakes for the 3rd year in a row and the MAFA Director’s Award recognizing cumulative points earned. The team also placed 2nd in Missouri overall, demonstrating comprehensive excellence in speech and debate.

In debate, senior Tyler Behymer, senior Johnathan Christy, sophomore Peyton Gilbert, and sophomore Maguire Radosevic each one their quarterfinal round of Lincoln-Douglas debate. The result was an unprecedented lockout at semifinals, meaning these four students are MAFA 2019 state champions in open LD. First-year Macy Cecil advanced to novice LD finals and won, making her the state champion in novice LD. Cecil also was named top speaker in novice LD, her second state championship of the night. In open LD, sophomore Cami Smith was named state champion speaker in open LD. Smith also was named state champion speaker in open parliamentary debate. In the novice division of parliamentary debate, first-year Jackson Elder was named state champion speaker and took home a second state championship with first-year Michael Garrett by winning the final round.

Individual events speech also picked up three state championships. Sophomore Audrey Baker earned two state championships, one in afterdinner speaking and one in duo interpretation, which she shares with junior Austin Sopko. Baker placed 5th in pentathalon, recognizing highly competitive students entered in at least five events at the state tournament. Sopko joined Baker with his own 3rd place finish in pentathalon. Additionally, junior Rebecca Walker was named state champion in communication analysis. Each of these are state championships Truman has not won in recent history and represent a significant moment for Truman’s individual event speeches.

The success of Truman Forensics was not made up solely of state championships, however. The team as a whole performed exceptionally well, earning a variety of other awards, including:

Senior Tyler Behymer: 1st place in open LD (shared with Christy, Gilbert, Radosevic), 2nd place in open parliamentary debate

Senior Johnathan Christy: 1st Place in open LD (shared with Behymer, Gilbert, Radosevic), 2nd place in open parliamentary debate, 5th place open parliamentary debate speaker, 5th place open LD speaker

Junior Caleb Daniels: Quarterfinalist in open parliamentary debate

Junior Austin Sopko: 2nd Place in duo interpretation, 3rd in pentathalon, 4th place in afterdinner speaking, 4th place in communication analysis, 6th place in dramatic interpretation, 6th place in poetry interpretation

Junior Rebecca Walker: 1st place in communication analysis

Sophomore Audrey Baker: 2nd in duo interpretation, 3rd in afterdinner speaking, 5th in program oral interpretation, 5th in pentathalon

Sophomore Peyton Gilbert: 1st in open LD (shared with Behymer, Christy, Radosevic), quarterfinalist in open parliamentary debate

Sophomore Maguire Radosevic: 1st in open LD (shared with Behymer, Christy, and Gilbert), 3rd speaker in open LD, quarterfinalist in open parliamentary debate

Sophomore Cami Smith: 1st speaker in open LD debate, 1st speaker in open parliamentary debate, quarterfinalist in open parliamentary debate

Sophomore Travis Stahlman: 6th in program oral interpretation

First-year Macy Cecil: 1st in novice LD, 1st speaker in novice LD, 2nd speaker in novice parliamentary debate

First-year Alexis Cook: 5th speaker in novice parliamentary debate

First-year Jackson Elder: 1st in novice parliamentary debate, 1st speaker in novice parliamentary debate, 4th speaker in open parliamentary debate, quarterfinalist in open parliamentary debate

First-year Michael Garrett: 1st in novice parliamentary debate, 6th speaker in novice parliamentary debate, quarterfinalist in open parliamentary debate

This was a phenomenal final tournament for the Truman Forensics Union. We now turn our attention to nationals, to be hosted by the city of Santa Ana, CA in mid-April.

If you would like more information about the Truman Forensic Union, please contact director of forensics Chris Outzen at coutzen@truman.edu or assistant director of forensics Craig Hennigan at chennigan@truman.edu