Truman Forensics earns multiple awards at SBU tourney

Truman Forensics earns multiple awards at SBU tourney

October 17, 2019

Truman State University’s Forensic Union (speech and debate team) earned multiple awards and picked up eight new national qualifications during the annual Derryberry Memorial tournament hosted by Southwest Baptist University in October.

In individual events speaking, senior Austin Sopko reached finals in three different events. He finished 2nd place in prose interpretation, 3rd in duo interpretation with junior Audrey Baker, and 6th in impromptu speaking. Baker likewise reached finals in 3 events. In addition to her 3rd place in duo with Sopko, she finished 2nd in persuasive speaking and 5th in prose interpretation. Finally, first-year Lucah McCullough reached finals of poetry interpretation, earning 6th place.

In Lincoln-Douglas (LD) debate, senior Caleb Daniels went 4-0 in preliminary rounds and reached the semifinals, making him one of the top 4 debaters at the tournament in the open division. Sophomore Macy Cecil also advanced to elimination rounds, finishing as an octofinalist. Finally, first-year Zoie Francisco advanced to elimination rounds of the novice division, where she finished as a quarterfinalist.

These achievements bring Truman Forensics’ mean that Truman Forensics has already earned 12 different qualifications to nationals after only two tournament weekends in the competitive season. The team will next travel to the University of Central Missouri for the Missouri Mule tournament on October 18th through October 20th.

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