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Speaking Bearcats capture another victory

BOLIVAR, Mo. – The Southwest Baptist University Speaking Bearcats continued their winning ways on Nov. 13-14 at the Virtual Simpson Storm Tournament, hosted by Simpson College located in Indianola, Iowa.

Debate team members holding trophiesThe Speaking Bearcats were short-handed due to other school obligations, but still came away with a first-place finish in Individual Events Sweepstakes against the other 16 schools which participated in the competition. Despite not competing on day three of the tournament, the squad finished second in Overall Sweepstakes for the three-day event.

In International Public Debate (IPDA) on the opening day, the Speaking Bearcats won first place in both novice and varsity divisions. Breanna Prater was tournament champion in varsity IPDA and also was top speaker in the event. Likewise, Rebekah Raub was tournament champion in novice and the top speaker in the novice division, while Hunter Phipps was the third-place speaker in novice IPDA.

On day two, the Speaking Bearcats earned several accolades, including:

  • Kadie Thomas: Impromptu Speaking (tournament champion); Informative Speaking (tournament champion); Persuasion (second place); Extemporaneous Speaking (fourth place).
  • Breanna Prater: Extemporaneous Speaking (tournament champion); Impromptu Speaking (fourth place); Persuasion (fourth place); Communication Analysis (fifth place); After-dinner Speaking (sixth place).
  • Samantha Baldus: Oral Interpretation (second place); Poetry (third place); Duo Improvisation (second place with partner Mariah Barber.)
  • Mariah Barber: Duo Improvisation (second place with partner Samantha Baldus); Program Oral Interpretation (third place); Prose Interpretation (seventh place.)

For more information about the Speaking Bearcats please contact Dr. David Bailey, director of forensics, at

PHOTO: (Front row, left to right): Breanna Prater and Evan Kirksey; second row (left to right): Kadie Thomas and Mariah Barber; third row (left to right): Jessica Paxton, Hunter Phipps, Rebekah Raub and Samantha Baldus.

*Published: 12-1-2020