Truman Forensics Earns Missouri State Championships

Truman Forensics Earns Missouri State Championships

February 25, 2019

Truman Forensics closed its regular season on Feb. 23, 2019, 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 first place in Harold Lawson Debate Sweepstakes for the third year in a row and the MAFA Director’s Award recognizing cumulative points earned. The team also placed second in Missouri overall, demonstrating comprehensive excellence in speech and debate.

Truman Forensics

Top Row: Tyler Behymer, Alexis Cook, Michael Garrett, Caleb Daniels, Audrey Baker, Travis Stahlman. Middle Row: Malena Gansmann, Kayla Gerlt, Peyton Gilbert, Macy Cecil, Cami Smith, Maguire Radosevic, Johnathan Christy. Bottom Row: Jackson Elder, Will Henrickson, Rebecca Walker, Austin Sopko.

In debate, senior Tyler Behymer, senior Johnathan Christy, sophomore Peyton Gilbert, and sophomore Maguire Radosevic each won 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 fifth in pentathalon, recognizing highly competitive students entered in at least five events at the state tournament. Sopko joined Baker with his own third-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: First place in open LD (shared with Christy, Gilbert, Radosevic), Second place in open parliamentary debate
  • Senior Johnathan Christy: First place in open LD (shared with Behymer, Gilbert, Radosevic), second place in open parliamentary debate, fifth place open parliamentary debate speaker, fifth place open LD speaker
  • Junior Caleb Daniels: Quarterfinalist in open parliamentary debate
  • Junior Austin Sopko: Second place in duo interpretation, third in pentathalon, fourth place in afterdinner speaking, fourth place in communication analysis, sixth place in dramatic interpretation, sixth place in poetry interpretation
  • Junior Rebecca Walker: First place in communication analysis
  • Sophomore Audrey Baker: Second in duo interpretation, third in afterdinner speaking, fifth in program oral interpretation, fifth in pentathalon
  • Sophomore Peyton Gilbert: First in open LD (shared with Behymer, Christy, Radosevic), quarterfinalist in open parliamentary debate
  • Sophomore Maguire Radosevic: First in open LD (shared with Behymer, Christy, and Gilbert), third speaker in open LD, quarterfinalist in open parliamentary debate
  • Sophomore Cami Smith: First speaker in open LD debate, 1st speaker in open parliamentary debate, quarterfinalist in open parliamentary debate
  • Sophomore Travis Stahlman: Sixth in program oral interpretation
  • First-year Macy Cecil: First in novice LD, first speaker in novice LD, second speaker in novice parliamentary debate
  • First-year Alexis Cook: Fifthvspeaker in novice parliamentary debate
  • First-year Jackson Elder: First in novice parliamentary debate, first speaker in novice parliamentary debate, fourth speaker in open parliamentary debate, quarterfinalist in open parliamentary debate
  • First-year Michael Garrett: First in novice parliamentary debate, sixth 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.

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