BOLIVAR, Mo. – The Southwest Baptist University Speaking Bearcats won their third-consecutive Missouri Association of Forensics Activities (MAFA) State Championship on Feb. 22-23 in St. Louis, as well as having two students selected to represent Missouri for the Interstate Oratorical competition.
SBU had a strong showing, winning first place in the open division of overall sweepstakes and third in the open division of debate sweepstakes, while competing against teams from 16 colleges and universities.
“The MAFA state championship tournament is an open tournament,” said Dr. David Bailey, director of forensics at SBU, “which means that the field of competitors is not limited to Missouri schools alone, but teams and competitors throughout the region.”
Each year at MAFA, the original oratory competition takes place to determine Missouri’s two representatives for the Interstate Oratorical competition.
This year, SBU senior Marisa Mayo placed third and sophomore Evan Kirksey finished fourth. Since Mayo and Kirksey both were the highest-placing competitors from MAFA member schools in this event, they both earned the right to represent the state of Missouri at the Interstate Oratorical Competition on April 27-28 at West Chester University in West Chester, Penn.
For each of the past 11 years, SBU has had at least one of the two potential Interstate Oratory qualifiers from Missouri.
Speaking Bearcats MAFA debate highlights included:
The team also excelled in the speech events, taking three of the top six places in both communication analysis and duo interpretation, and four of the top six in impromptu speaking:
Next up for the Speaking Bearcats is the culmination of their season – the Pi Kappa Delta Nationals on March 19-25 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. For more information about SBU Speech and Debate, please contact Bailey at (417) 328-1697 or dbailey@SBUniv.edu.
Photo 1: SBU’s Speaking Bearcats (front row, left to right): Mikayla Throne, Andrew DeShon and Marisa Mayo; (back row, left to right): Katelyn Bloom, Spencer VanSickle, Autumn Lyon, Mitchell Huston, Christina Foltz, Evan Kirksey, Turner McCrackin, Mariah Gilmore, Jessie Paxton, Breanna Prater and Abigail Andrews.
Photo 2: SBU seniors (left to right) Mikayla Throne, Andrew DeShon and Marisa Mayo display some of their many awards from the state championship tournament.
Photo 3: The 2019 State Championship Plaque.