Forensics Team Competes at Virtual Tournaments

Students from Truman’s debate team attended virtual tournaments at Western Kentucky University and Washburn University and earned new qualifications to nationals.

At Washburn, freshman Aiden Breesawitz and sophomore Eli Bartz finished with positive records. Breesawitz finished as a quarterfinalist and earned his NFA qualification.

At Western Kentucky, juniors Alicia Stout and Elijah Baum were invited to the Alexis Elliott Memorial Round Robin, an exclusive competition where only 10 debaters in the nation were able to participate. Stout finished as third place speaker. Breesawitz and Baum were also invited to the Rising Stars Round Robin, which is intended for debaters going into their second year of debate. Truman continued its success at the WKU Debate the following days. Stout was a quarterfinalist and sixth speaker. Baum finished as 10th place speaker.

Students interested in learning more about the Forensics Union at Truman can contact Ben Davis, director of forensics, at
Two students at Western Kentucky
Four students at Washburn Warmup

Forensics Succeeds at New Tournament

Truman’s forensic union received two tournament championships and multiple other individual awards after the first annual Gateway Swing hosted by Webster University in St. Louis, Mo., Dec. 1-2.

Additionally, the team took third in team sweepstakes on the second day of the tournament and took home third place overall. Sophomore Audrey Baker also placed third in quadrathon for the weekend, a category for students competing in four or more events.

On the first day of the tournament, Baker moved all four of her events to finals. She would go on to finish third in all of them, including afterdinner speaking, program oral interpretation, dramatic interpretation and duo interpretation with junior Austin Sopko. In addition to sharing third in duo, Sopko also made finals in afterdinner speaking and was named tournament champion in the event. He has made finals with this speech every tournament this year, winning twice. First-year Korrin Comley has had similar successes, reaching finals in informative speaking at four out of five tournaments this year. She also took home a tournament championship and top novice in this event, her second championship with this speech. Comley also reached finals in persuasive speaking, placing third and top novice in the event. First-year Will Henrickson placed sixth in extemporaneous speaking and was fourth and top novice in dramatic interpretation. Junior Rebecca Walker placed sixth in program oral interpretation.

On the second day of the tournament, Baker returned to finals in three of her four events. She finished fourth in afterdinner speaking, second in dramatic interpretation and second in duo interpretation with Sopko. Sopko placed fifth in impromptu speaking and in afterdinner speaking in addition to his second-place duo with Baker. Comley returned to finals in informative speaking, placing second and receiving another top novice award. Henrickson placed fifth in dramatic interpretation and fourth in extemporaneous speaking. Walker flipped her events, this time placing second in afterdinner speaking. Additionally, first-year Malena Gansmann joined the ranks of finals on day two, placing sixth in prose interpretation.

In total, Truman forensics earned more than 20 individual awards and five new national qualifications. This successful weekend concludes the fall travel season, but the team will be back the first week of spring semester taking a small crew to the Iowa Swing in Cedar Falls.

For more information on how to get involved, visit or contact Christopher Outzen, director of forensics, or Craig Hennigan, assistant director of forensics.

-Courtesy: Truman Today

Gateway Swing 2018

Truman Forensics Brings Home Tournament Championships

Truman’s forensic union brought home four tournament championships, among multiple other awards, at the annual Missouri Mule/Dale Carnegie Swing hosted by the University of Central Missouri, Oct. 20-21.
The team took third in individual events at both the Mule and the Carnegie tournament, were tournament champions in overall sweepstakes for the Carnegie and placed third in combined individual events sweepstakes across both tournaments.

In individual events during the Missouri Mule, Oct. 20, junior Austin Sopko was named tournament champion in afterdinner speaking. He also placed third in impromptu speaking and seventh in communication analysis. First-year Korrin Comley also picked up a tournament championship in informative speaking, which made her the top novice in the event. First-year Will Henrickson advanced to finals of dramatic interpretation and placed fifth. He was also named top novice in extemporaneous speaking. Junior Rebecca Walker advanced to afterdinner finals with Sopko and placed fifth.

During the Dale Carnegie, Oct. 21, Sopko once again advanced to finals in all three of his events. He would end up placing third in communication analysis, fourth in afterdinner speaking and sixth in impromptu speaking. Comley also advanced again in informative speaking, placing second and once again earning top novice. Henrickson reached finals in extemporaneous speaking and placed third, once again earning top novice in the event. Sophomore Maguire Radosevic also reached finals in extemporaneous, placing fifth. Finally, Walker also returned to afterdinner finals and placed fifth.

In Lincoln-Douglas (LD) debate, senior Johnathan Christy earned a tournament championship during the Missouri Mule by advancing through four elimination rounds and then defeating his finals opponent on a 3-0 judge’s decision. Christy was also named sixth speaker in varsity LD debate. Senior Tyler Behymer and sophomore Peyton Gilbert also had good tournaments, with Behymer finishing as a semifinalist and Gilbert as an octofinalist. Additionally, sophomore Eric Martin picked up a winning record in the junior varsity division of LD debate but fell just short of advancing to the final. Martin was named sixth speaker in the division and first year Michael Garrett was named fourth speaker. On Sunday, Christy once again advanced to elimination rounds, this time finishing as a quarterfinalist. He also completed his tournament as a third speaker in varsity LD.

After a very successful weekend at the University of Central Missouri, Truman Forensics picked up seven national qualifications for the NFA Championship Tournament, including Comley in informative, Henrickson in drama and extemporaneous speaking, Martin in LD debate, Radosevic in extemporaneous speaking, Sopko in communication analysis, and Walker in afterdinner Speaking. After only three tournament weekends, the team already has earned 20 qualifications to nationals.

Truman Forensics will return to competition with the Fall Redbird LD Swing, hosted by Illinois State University Nov.17-18.

For more information on how to get involved, visit or contact Christopher Outzen, director of forensics, or Craig Hennigan, assistant director of forensics.

-Courtesy: Truman Today

Barnett Hall

Forensics Has Successful First Tournaments

The Truman Forensic Union opened their competitive season with two successful tournaments in Bowling Green, Ky., and Bolivar, Mo., earning two sweepstakes awards and 13 national qualifications.

Forensics traveled to Bowling Green for tournaments hosted by Western Kentucky University, Sept. 21. At the season-opening Alexis Elliot Memorial Round Robin, senior Johnathan Christy advanced to the final round of Lincoln-Douglas debate (LD) in a highly selective field consisting of the most competitive students in the country. Christy finished the tournament in second place and was named the best speaker of the tournament. Fellow senior Tyler Behymer was also selected for the tournament and finished in fourth place.

The team also competed in full at the Western Kentucky Fall Fiesta, Sept. 22. Christy made elimination rounds of LD and finished the tournament as an octofinalist. He was named the second-best speaker at the tournament. Sophomore Maguire Radosevic also advanced and finished as an octofinalist. Fellow sophomores Peyton Gilbert and Cami Smith advanced to quarterfinals. Smith was also named the second-best speaker at the tournament.

Truman Forensics later traveled to Bolivar for the annual Bob R. Derryberry Memorial tournament, hosted by Southwest Baptist University. Behymer advanced to the final round and won the tournament in debate. First-years Macy Cecil and Jackson Elder each advanced to elimination rounds of the novice LD division. Cecil finished as an octofinalist while Elder finished as a quarterfinalist.

In individual events at the Derryberry Memorial, junior Austin Sopko finished the tournament with fifth place in impromptu speaking and third place in afterdinner speaking. Sophomore Audrey Baker had similar successes in her two events, placing fourth in afterdinner speaking and second in dramatic interpretation. Junior Caleb Daniels advanced as a finalist in extemporaneous speaking, placing sixth. First-year Malena Gansmann reached finals of program oral interpretation and placed sixth as well.

In addition to individual student successes, Truman Forensics earned third place in debate sweepstakes and third in overall sweepstakes for the 2018 Derryberry Memorial. The team will travel to Warrensburg, Mo., to compete in the annual Missouri Mule and Dale Carnegie Swing tournament.

Inquiries about Truman Forensics can be sent to Chris Outzen, director of forensics, or Craig Hennigan, assistant director of forensics.

-Courtesy: Truman Today

Forensic Union Earns Fourth in the Nation in Lincoln-Douglas Debate

The Forensic Union, speech and debate team, earned fourth in the nation in Lincoln-Douglas debate at the National Forensic Association’s Championship Tournament April 19-23 at the University of Wisconsin, Osh-Kosh.

In individual awards, first-years Peyton Gilbert, Maguire Radosevic and Cami Smith each advanced to the double-octafinals. This means they are among the top 32 debaters in the nation. Junior Johnathan Christy and senior Connor Stewart advanced to the octafinals, placing them in the top 16 in the nation. This is Stewart’s first national elimination round and Christy’s third. Junior Tyler Behymer advanced to the quarterfinal. This is his second elimination round appearance at nationals earning him the title of one of the top eight debaters in the nation.

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 Christopher Outzen, director of individual events, or Craig Hennigan, assistant director of forensics.

Forensics Union
The Forensic Union poses for a picture after earning fourth in the nation in Lincoln-Douglas debate at the National Forensic Association’s Championship Tournament, April 19-23. Fourteen students traveled to the tournament, including: (front row, from left to right) Maguire Radosevic, Cami Smith, Tyler Behymer, Johnny Christy and Connor Stewart; (middle row) Rebecca Walker, Austin Sopko, Kelsey Barnes, Audrey Baker, Elexis Hubbard, Chris Outzen and Kevin Minch; (back row) Craig Hennigan, Caleb Daniels, Eric Martin, Travis Stahlman and Peyton Gilbert.

-Courtesy: Truman Today