Speaking Bearcats finish fourth at national tournament

BOLIVAR, Mo. — Southwest Baptist University’s Speaking Bearcats finished fourth at the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament and Convention held March 20-24, 2019, at Hofstra University, in Hempstead, N.Y.

The SBU Speaking Bearcats finished fourth at the national tournament.The Speaking Bearcats proved to be among the best speech and debate programs in the nation finishing with superior awards in all sweepstakes categories – second place in individual event sweepstakes, fifth place in debate sweepstakes, and fourth place in overall (combined) sweepstakes. SBU faced off against competition from 72 other colleges and universities.

Pi Kappa Delta divides its awards according to three divisions: Superior, Excellent, and Good. Superior awards are given to those who perform in the top 10 percent of their event. Excellent awards are given to students who finish in the 11th through 30th percentile. Good awards are given to those finishing in the 31st through 60th percentile.

In addition, the team placed first in the Bob R. Derryberry Traveling Comprehensive Sweepstakes Award. This award (named after SBU’s legendary former director of forensics, the late Dr. Bob R. Derryberry) is a cumulative traveling award comprised of points earned from the past several national tournaments.

“We’re especially proud that we could bring the Derryberry award home to SBU this year,” said Dr. David Bailey, SBU’s current director of forensics.

The following SBU Speaking Bearcats earned one of these prestigious awards in the following speech or debate events:

Novice IPDA debate – Christina Foltz (sophomore) was a semifinalist and earned a superior award.

Junior IPDA debate – Katelyn Bloom (sophomore) earned an excellent.

Varsity IPDA debate – Jeffrey Metzler (junior) earned an excellent.

Public Forum debate – Andrew DeShon (senior) and Marisa Mayo (senior) were quarterfinalists and received a superior.

Junior NPDA debate – Breanna Prater (sophomore) and her partner Mitchell Huston (freshman) reached the semifinals and received a good.

Varsity NPDA debate – Mikayla Throne (senior) and partner Spencer VanSickle (sophomore) received an excellent.

After-Dinner Speaking – Alexa Bell (sophomore) received a superior; Breanna Prater, excellent; Mikayla Throne, excellent; and Marisa Mayo, excellent.

Broadcast Journalism – Jessica Paxton (freshman) received a superior; Evan Kirksey (sophomore), excellent; Katelyn Bloom, excellent; and Alexa Bell, excellent.

Communication Analysis – Andrew DeShon earned a “Top Superior” and won a National Championship.

Dramatic Interpretation – Mitchell Huston received an excellent.

Duo Interpretation – Mitchell Huston and Jeffrey Metzler received a superior; Mitchell Huston and Junior Mariah Gilmore, excellent; Christina Foltz and Alexa Bell, excellent.

Extemporaneous Speaking – Andrew DeShon received an excellent; Breanna Prater, excellent; Marisa Mayo, excellent.

Impromptu Speaking – Marisa Mayo received a superior; Andrew DeShon, excellent; and Mariah Gilmore, excellent.

Informative Speaking – Marisa Mayo received a superior; Breanna Prater, superior; and Jeffrey Metzler, excellent.

Persuasion – Spencer VanSickle received a “Top Superior” (third place); Jeffrey Metzler, superior; and Marisa Mayo, excellent.

Poetry – Autumn Lyon (freshman) received an excellent; and Mikayla Throne, excellent.

Program of Oral Interpretation – Mikayla Throne received an excellent.

Prose Interpretation – Autumn Lyon received an excellent; Alexa Bell, excellent; Mitchell Huston, excellent.

Interviewing – Evan Kirksey received an excellent.

Kirksey and Mayo have one more competition for the year – representing Missouri in the Interstate Oratorical competition April 26-27 at West Chester University in West Chester, Penn.

Each year at the Missouri Association Forensics Activities State Championship, the original oratory competition takes place to determine Missouri’s two representatives for the Interstate Oratorical competition. Mayo placed third and sophomore Kirksey finished fourth. They were the highest-placing competitors from MAFA-member schools in this event, earning the right to compete in the Interstate Oratorical.

For each of the past 11 years, SBU has had at least one of the two potential Interstate Oratorical qualifiers from Missouri.

For more information about SBU’s speech and debate program, contact Bailey at dbailey@SBUniv.edu.


Cutline: The 2018-2019 Speaking Bearcats before the Pi Kappa Delta awards ceremony on March 24, 2019. (Front row, left to right): Alexa Bell, Mariah Gilmore, Marisa Mayo, Evan Kirksey, Mikayla Throne, Breanna Prater and Katelyn Bloom. (Back row, left to right): Autumn Lyon, Mitchell Huston, Turner McCrackin, Andrew DeShon, Jessica Paxton, Spencer VanSickle, Christina Foltz, Abigail Andrews and Jeffrey Metzler.

*Published: 4-8-19