McKendree Speech and Debate Takes First Place at Minnesota and Southwest Baptist Tournaments

Competing at the Minnesota Classic were McKendree University debate team members Caden Owens, Brian Duvendack and Isabella Strimling (seated); back row, Kyle Garrett, Rebecca Postula, Haylee Christ, Chandler Flesch, Adeja Powell, Mitch Deleel and Scott Anderson.

LEBANON, IL. — The McKendree University speech and debate team took home 24 awards, including 10 first place finishes, over its two most recent tournaments at the University of Minnesota and Southwest Baptist University.

“This was an impressive start to the season,” said Joe Blasdel, coach. “While this marks a successful start to the season, the team displayed a very high level of camaraderie at both tournaments – especially important with 10 new members this year.”

McKendree was one of three universities, including the University of Missouri and the host school, to attend the Minnesota Classic, hosted by the University of Minnesota on Sept. 21-22. Representing McKendree were senior Adeja Powell; junior Haylee Christ; sophomores Mitch Deleel, Chandler Flesch, Caden Owens and Rebecca Postula; and first-years Scott Anderson, Brian Duvendack, Kyle Garrett and Isabella Strimling.

The team of Deleel and Powell posted a perfect 6-0 prelim record. After receiving a bye in quarterfinals, they defeated Minnesota teams in semifinals and finals to win the tournament. Owens and Postula went 5-1. They reached semifinals after receiving a bye in quarterfinals. Christ and Flesch posted a 3-3 record, just missing the break to quarterfinals, but were recognized as the top junior team at the tournament. Powell was first place varsity speaker, while Deleel place fifth. Owens was the top novice speaker, while Strimling took third place.

McKendree University speech team members competing at Derryberry Memorial Tournament at Southwest Baptist University were (kneeling), Kate Maag, Aliyah Smith, Rebecca Postula and Taylor Roth; standing, Isa Scaturro, Lyndellia Mannie, Andrew Wagner, Kelsey Fann and Rachael Hooven.

Fourteen colleges and universities, including the University of Nebraska, Truman State University and Simpson College, attended the Derryberry Memorial Tournament, hosted by Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo., on Oct. 5-6. Representing McKendree were seniors Rachael Hooven, Aliyah Smith and Andrew Wagner; juniors Kate Maag, Lyndellia Mannie and Isa Scaturro; sophomore Rebecca Postula; and first-years Kelsey Fann and Taylor Roth.

Wagner won first place in three public address events: communication analysis, after dinner speaking and informative speaking. He also took second in extemporaneous speaking and fourth in impromptu speaking, along with taking second place in duo with Smith. In addition to placing second in duo, Smith finished second in programmed oral interpretation and fourth in drama. Maag placed second in prose and fourth in programmed oral interpretation. Mannie won first place in poetry, while Scaturro placed fourth in informative speaking. Finally, Hooven took sixth in drama. Wagner won first place in individual sweepstakes, while Smith placed fourth. As a program, McKendree won first place in individual events sweepstakes and placed second in overall sweepstakes.

McKendree will compete next at its home debate tournament on Oct. 19-21, while also competing in a speech tournament at the University of Central Missouri.