Truman’s Speech and Debate Team started their season and got a running head start! Students attended virtual tournaments at Illinois State University, Washburn University, and Western Kentucky University. They earned new qualifications to the National Tournament.
In late September, members of the speech team participated in Illinois State University’s 3rd annual online asynchronous Pop-Up Individual Events (IE) Tournament. Senior Megan Ford competed in Prose Interpretation and received 4th place. Sophomores Briggs Maynor and Alexis Peterson competed as well. Briggs received 2nd place in Dramatic Interpretation. Alexis received 3rd place in Impromptu Speaking, qualifying for the National Forensic Association (NFA) at the end of the year. Freshman Jesse Fields also competed in Impromptu at this tournament. The team took home 1st place in IE Sweepstakes.
In early October, at Washburn, Freshmen Payten Lauders and Jesse Fields finished with positive records. Paytenwas 2nd place runner-
up and finished as 6th place speaker. Jesse finished as a Quarterfinalist (Top 8) and 8th-place speaker.
At Western Kentucky, the debate team had much success. Payten finished as a Semifinalist and 1st place speaker in the Junior Varsity division, and Jesse finished as 2nd place runner-up. Seniors Elijah Baum and Alicia Stout advanced to elimination brackets in the Open division, earning their qualifications to NFA. Elijah was a Quarterfinalist (Top 8). Alicia was a Semifinalist (Top 4) and finished as 8th place speaker. Eli Bartz (senior) and Aiden Bressawitz (sophomore) also attended.

In late September, speech team members competed in OATS. Senior Megan Ford competed in Communication Analysis and received 7th place. Sophomore Alexis Peterson also competed in CA and received 3rd place. Not only did Alexis place in the top three in Communication Analysis, but she was also the tournament champion in After Dinner Speaking. Sophomore Briggs Maynor competed in both Informative Speaking and Poetry Interpretation. Briggs received 3rd place in Poetry and 4th place in Informative Speaking. Freshman Bryna Norman also had a good showing for her first tournament as she received 5th place in Program Oral Interpretation. In Individual Sweepstakes, Alex placed 4th, and Briggs placed 5th. In the Overall Sweepstakes, Truman State received 4th place. New qualifications to the National Forensic Association (NFA) include Briggs in Informative Speaking and Poetry, Alexis in Communication Analysis, and Bryna in Program Oral Interp. Great showing, indeed!

The first weekend of October, the entire forensics team attended the Missouri Mule hosted by the University of Central Missouri and dominated the tournament. Some of the funniest people around competed in After Dinner Speaking. Alexis Peterson took 3rd place, and Bryna Norman took 5th place. In Communication Analysis, Megan Ford received 3rd place, and Alexis Peterson was the tournament champion. Let’s take a more dramatic turn to Dramatic Interpretation. Briggs Maynor received 6th place, and sophomore Jes

sie Philips received 3rd place. You can tell these seniors make a good duo because Jillian Humke and Ella Schnake were the tournament champions in Duo Interpretation. Impromptu Speaking

had the most entries, so these competitors had to think on their feet. Jillian finished as a semifinalist (Top 12), Alexis finished in 3rd place, and Ella was the tournament champion. In Informative Speaking, Briggs received 5th place, and Megan received 3rd place. Megan also competed in Persuasive Speaking and received 6th place. In Program Oral Interpretation, Bryna received 2nd place, and Jessie received 4th place. Finally, these storytellers took the cake in their final round. In Prose Interpretation, Briggs received 6th place, Alexis received 3rd place, Ella received 2nd place, and Megan was the tournament champion.

Our debaters also had a great showing! Every debater that attended advanced to elimination brackets. In combined Junior Varsity and Varsity Lincoln-Douglas Debate, freshmen Jesse Fields and Payten Luaders finished in Octafinals (Top 16), and sophomore Aiden Bressawitz and senior Elijah Baum finished in Quarterfinals (Top 8). Senior Eli Bartz finished as a Semifinalist (Top 4) and 3rd speaker. Senior Alicia Stout was the tournament champion in Lincoln-Douglas and was 4th speaker. In the novice Lincoln-Douglas, freshman Ben Croat finished as a Semifinalist and 6th speaker, and freshman Frankie Schuman was the tournament runner-up and 2nd speaker.

In both Individual Events and Overall Sweepstakes, Truman State placed 2nd place, besting reputable Missouri teams, such as Missouri State, the University of Central Missouri, and Southwest Baptist University.

Debaters had another great weekend of debating after the Missouri Mule. They competed virtually at the UNT DeMouget Debate Tournament. In the open division, Elijah Baum finished as an Octafinalist (Top 16) and 7th speaker, Alicia finished as a Quarterfinalist (Top 8) and 6th speaker, and Eli Bartz finished as a Semifinalist (Top 4). In the novice division, Ben Croat was placed as 7th speaker, and Frankie Schuman finished as a Semifinalist (Top 4) and 3rd speaker. Go dawgs!

Wrapping up the fall semester, both the Speech and Debate Teamshad a busy weekend of competition during the first weekend of November. The Speech team traveled to Peoria, Illinois, to compete in person at Bradley University’s 76th L.E. Norton Tournament, while the Debate team participated virtually at Illinois State’s Redbird Debate Tournament.

At the ISU Debate Tournament, senior students Alicia Stout and Elijah Baum performed exceptionally, advancing to the elimination rounds and finishing as Octo-finalists (Top 16). Both seniors earned recognition as Baum finished as the 5th speaker, and Stout finished as 2nd speaker. Other teammates in attendance included senior Eli Bartz, sophomore Aidan Bressawitz, and freshmen Peyton Luaders, Frankie Schuman, and Ben Croat.

Meanwhile, at the Norton Speech Tournament, two of our competitors

advanced to the semifinals: Ella Schnake (senior) in Prose and Alexis

 Peterson (sophomore) in Impromptu Speaking. Schnake also se

cured the position of tournament runner-up in Dramatic

Interpretation, earning her qualification for the National Forensics

Tournament (NFA) in DI. Other teammates in attendance included senior students Megan Ford and Jillian Humke, as well as sophomores Briggs Maynor and Jessie Philips.


Any alumni interested in judging or students interested in joining the Forensics Union should contact Director of Forensics Ben Davis at bdavis@truman.edu.