Speaking Bearcats win fifth state title in six years

BOLIVAR, Mo. – For the fifth time in six years, the Southwest Baptist University Speaking Bearcats are state champions after capturing the Overall Sweepstakes in the open division of the Missouri Association of Forensics Activities Championship held Feb. 16-17 at Truman State University in Kirksville.

The Speaking Bearcats, who competed against teams from Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa, finished first in overall sweepstakes, second in debate sweepstakes and first in individual events (speech) sweepstakes. The team also won first place in the “quality award” standings – a recognition of the efficiency of the team’s achievements.

Speaking Bearcats won their fifth state title in six years.In addition to claiming the state championship, Jordan Compton, assistant director of forensics at SBU, was honored as the 2018 Coach of the Year for MAFA.

“It’s always great to see hard work pay off for our students, especially when that means we bring home the first-place trophy with Dr. (Bob R.) Derryberry’s name on it,” Compton said. “I’m very proud of their effort and I hope to see the momentum continue as we prepare for the PKD National Comprehensive Tournament.”

MAFA presents a series of special awards for students who compete in a variety of events. In the pentathlon competition, where a student must be entered in five or more events representing at least two of the three competitive speech genres to be eligible, the Speaking Bearcats took four of the top six places. Kensey Dressler, Tiana Brownen and Marisa Mayo finished first through third, respectively, and Mikayla Throne was sixth.

MAFA also presents an Overall Forensicator award, recognizing outstanding accomplishments of students in both debate and speech events. SBU dominated with Marisa Mayo, Tiana Brownen, Kensey Dressler, Mikayla Throne and Jeffrey Metzler finishing first through fifth, respectively.

The Speaking Bearcats brought home several awards, including:

Mariah Gilmore – sophomore

  • Quarterfinalist in parliamentary debate (partner Jeffrey Metzler)

Jeffrey Metzler – sophomore

  • Quarterfinalist in parliamentary debate (partner Mariah Gilmore)
  • Fifth place in dramatic interpretation

Reece Tabor – senior

  • Semifinalist in parliamentary debate (partner Kensey Dressler)
  • State champion in informative speaking
  • Fifth in oratory
  • Second place in duo interpretation (partner Katelyn Bloom)
  • Fourth place in communication analysis

Kensey Dressler – senior

  • Semifinalist in parliamentary debate (partner Reece Tabor)
  • State champion in extemporaneous speaking
  • Second place in informative speaking
  • Third place in communication analysis
  • Third place in impromptu
  • Fifth place in program of oral interpretation

Tiana Brownen – senior

  • State champion in public forum debate (partner Marisa Mayo)
  • State champion in oratory (third year in a row)
  • Will represent Missouri at the interstate oratorical competition in April
  • Fourth place in extemporaneous speaking
  • Second place in communication analysis
  • Fifth place in impromptu speaking
  • Sixth place in after-dinner speaking

Marisa Mayo – junior

  • State champion in public forum debate (partner Tiana Brownen)
  • Third place in oratory
  • Fifth place in extemporaneous speaking
  • Fourth place informative speaking
  • Fourth place in after-dinner speaking
  • Second place in impromptu speaking

Mikayla Throne – junior

  • Second place in dramatic interpretation.
  • Fifth place in duo interpretation (partner Jordan Martin)
  • Fifth place in poetry interpretation
  • Fourth place in prose interpretation

“I was so proud of our students” said Dr. David Bailey, head coach and director of forensics at SBU. “Our team put in many hours of hard work to achieve the results that they did. From top to bottom, this was an outstanding team effort.”

The team is preparing for the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament on March 14-17 at Tennessee State University.

For more information about the team, please contact Bailey at dbailey@sbuniv.edu.

CUTLINE: (Left to right): Jeffrey Metzler, Katelyn Bloom, Mariah Gilmore, Yani McHugh, Kensey Dressler, Andrew DeShon, Mikayla Throne, Marisa Mayo, Jordan Martin, Reece Tabor and Tiana Brownen. (Not pictured – Breanna Prater)

*Published: 3-13-18