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.
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
Jeffrey Metzler – sophomore
Reece Tabor – senior
Kensey Dressler – senior
Tiana Brownen – senior
Marisa Mayo – junior
Mikayla Throne – junior
“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 email@example.com.
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)