Speaking Bearcats place third at Gorlok Gala

SBU's Speaking Bearcats finished third at the Gorlok Gala debate tournament.BOLIVAR, Mo. – The Southwest Baptist University Speaking Bearcats kicked off the second half of the 2018-2019 season at the 21st Scott Jensen Gorlok Gala Tournament on Jan. 25-27, hosted by Webster University in St. Louis.

Despite the long Christmas break and being down four team members, the Speaking Bearcats placed third in overall sweepstakes out of the 42 schools present.

“The ‘Gorlok’ (named for the Webster University mascot) is, historically, a very tough tournament,” said Dr. David Bailey, director of forensics at SBU. “In terms of size and competitiveness, the Gorlok is the closest thing to nationals that we see in a regular-season invitation tournament.

“I think it served as a good early spring barometer of our competitiveness. I think our students saw the results as showing promise, but also a bit of a wake-up call.”


Individual highlights included:

  • Mikayla Throne (senior) – tournament champion in parliamentary debate speaker awards; octofinalist in parliamentary debate with partner, Spencer VanSickle (sophomore); sixth in after-dinner speaking; winner of “excellent” award (top 20 percent) in poetry interpretation.
  • Spencer VanSickle (sophomore) – semifinalist in extemporaneous speaking; octofinalist in parliamentary debate with partner, Mikayla Throne (senior).
  • Andrew DeShon (senior) – semifinalist in impromptu speaking; seventh in communication analysis; sixth in informative speaking.
  • Jeffrey Metzler (junior) – octofinalist in debate with partner, Mariah Gilmore (junior); winner of an “excellent” award in persuasive speaking.
  • Mariah Gilmore (junior) – semifinalist in impromptu speaking; winner of an “excellent” award in after-dinner speaking; octofinalist in debate with partner, Jeffrey Metzler (junior); sixth place in duo interpretation with partner, Mitchell Huston (freshman).
  • Autumn Lyon (freshman) – semifinalist in prose interpretation.
  • Evan Kirksey (sophomore) – semifinalist in persuasive speaking; 14th in public forum debate speaker awards.
  • Katelyn Bloom (sophomore) – second place in poetry interpretation.
  • Breanna Prater (sophomore) – received “excellent” awards in both persuasive speaking and impromptu; ninth place in parliamentary debate speaker awards.

The Speaking Bearcats are preparing for the Missouri Association of Forensics Activities (MAFA) State Championship tournament Feb. 22-23, which also will be hosted by Webster University.

For more information about SBU Speech and Debate, please contact Dr. David Bailey, director of forensics, at dbailey@SBUniv.edu.


Photo cutline: (Left to right): Mikayla Throne, Spencer VanSickle, Jeffrey Metzler, Katelyn Bloom, Mitchell Huston, Breanna Prater, Autumn Lyon, Turner McCrackin, Evan Kirksey, Andrew DeShon, Mariah Gilmore and Marisa Mayo (kneeling).

*Published: 2-8-19