Truman Forensics Has a Big Weekend at Webster University

Feb 3, 2016 by     Comments Off on Truman Forensics Has a Big Weekend at Webster University    Posted under: Press Releases

Truman Forensics Has a Big Weekend at Webster University

By Truman Forensics Students and Staff

Truman State University’s Forensic Union (speech and debate team) brought home 12 awards from the 18th annual Gorlock Gala tournament this weekend. The tournament, hosted by Webster University, was attended by 42 schools with over 600 entries total.

In open/varsity Lincoln-Douglas debate, freshman Johnathan Christy and senior Dillon Laaker both made it to elimination rounds and were honored as octofinalists. Additionally, 3 students took home awards for speaking excellence in debate. Out of a crowded field of 58, freshman Jack Eames was 15th speaker. Sophomore Connor Stewart was 13th speaker. In addition to his octofinalist award, Laaker was awarded 8th speaker.

Truman also had a great showing in individual events speech. Freshman Jonathan Rogers received an excellence award, given to students in the top 30% of their event who did not advance to elimination rounds, for extemporaneous speaking. Sophomore Brian Kantanka also received an excellence award, his in poetry interpretation. Johnathan Christy advanced to semifinals of extemporaneous speaking, where he was also recognized as the top novice in the field. Other semifinalists included sophomore Grace Malinee in prose interpretation and junior Adrien Zambrano in impromptu speaking. Dillon Laaker advanced to the final round of extemporaneous speaking, where he placed 6th. Finally, Kantanka was also a finalist in dramatic interpretation and took 1st place.

With a great start to their semester, the team now prepares for their state championship tournament, sponsored by the Missouri Association of Forensic Activities. This tournament will once again be hosted by Webster University on February 19th and 20th.

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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