Speaking Bearcats in Top 10 at Nationals

Prater, Kirksey earn All-American honors

Breanna PraterBOLIVAR, Mo. – The Southwest Baptist University Speaking Bearcats placed 10th in individual events sweepstakes, 11th overall in debate and speech sweepstakes and had two competitors earn All-American honors at the 2021 Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament on March 18-21.

SBU’s Breanna Prater and Evan Kirksey were named All-Americans by Pi Kappa Delta, which awards All-American status to 10 competitors every two years.

“There is an extensive nomination process that PKD All-Americans go through,” said Dr. David Bailey, the director of forensics at SBU. “They assemble statistics from their competitive careers, several letters of recommendation from their coaches and others in the forensics community. 

“An All-American award is a wonderful accomplishment that reflects the hard work, citizenship and community involvement a competitor has had throughout their career. We were extremely proud to learn that Bre and Evan were among this year’s class of PKD All-Americans.”

Evan KirkseyThe Speaking Bearcats, which competed against 79 other colleges and universities over four days of grueling online competition, won an impressive array of awards.

  • Breanna Prater won 10th place in International Public Debate Association (IPDA) debate speaker awards, and was an octofinalist (top 16) in the event. Prater also was a semifinalist in extemporaneous commentary and won an excellent award (top 30 percent) in extemporaneous speaking.
  • Evan Kirksey won a superior award (top 10 percent) in interviewing. He was a quarterfinalist in persuasion, a semifinalist in informative, and won an excellent award in impromptu speaking. 
  • Kadie Thomas won a semifinalist award in impromptu speaking. 
  • Mariah Barber won quarterfinalist awards in both poetry interpretation and program of oral interpretation. 
  • Jessica Paxton finished the tournament as a quarterfinalist in poetry interpretation. 
  • Samantha Baldus also won a quarterfinalist award in poetry.

The 2021 Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament was the team’s final competition for the 2020-2021 season. For more information about the team, please contact Dr. Bailey at dbailey@SBUniv.edu. 

*Published: 3-30-2021