Debate takes 21 awards at state tourney

Katy Murray
Commentary Editor   
Photo courtesy of Media Services
The proof is in the hardware —  (from left) Chad Rogers, Brian Rauls,  Brandi Morgan, Brooke Flemister, Lydia Gorse, Lauren Raynor, Joel Brown, Scott Allison Richardson and Matt Baumgarten display awards won at the State Championships. (Not pictured: April Jacks).

   The University of Arkansas–Monticello’s speech and debate team came out fighting at the Arkansas State Championship in Fayetteville the weekend of Feb. 18-20.

   The team received 21 awards at the tournament and also managed to win in all three team categories. These honors represent two “firsts” for Scott Kuttenkuler, director of forensics, because they supplied the most wins at an individual tournament since he has been the director. This also comes as the first occurrence of wins in all three categories since he has been at UAM.

   “While we had success, we can recognize where we need to improve for the Pi Kappa Delta Nationals,” Kuttenkuler said.

   A room full of trophies could prove empowering for the team though. At the state tournament they won numerous awards highlighted by three prestigious Sweepstake wins. These included third place in the Debate Sweepstakes, second place in the Individual Events Sweepstakes and third place in the Overall Sweepstakes.

   On an individual level the team succeeded with high rankings also. In the competition of open International Public Debate Association speaker junior Chad Rogers of Bentonville won fourth place while fifth place went to first-year Joel Brown of Monticello. Rogers also managed to reach the semi-finalist level in the open International Public Debate Association division and won first place in the extemporaneous speaking division.

   Third place awards were received by junior Brandi Morgan of Crossett as Parliamentary Debate speaker and by Brown in the pentathlon. Then in duo-interpretation, three pairs won awards including third place by Rogers and Brown, fourth place by first-year Brian Rauls of Bearden and junior April Jacks of Star City, and fifth place by juniors Morgan and Matt Baumgarten of Monticello.

   Rogers won fourth place in the prose division, while Brown received third place in after-dinner speaking and first in informative speaking. First-year Scott Allison Richardson of Warren also competed in informative speaking and won fourth place. Morgan won second place in communication analysis and in program of oral interpretation, Baumgarten received fourth place.

   Three team members also placed in the dramatic interpretation division including Rogers in second place, Jacks in fifth and Brown in sixth. Rogers also won the coveted “Subway Stamps” competition, a new tradition the team began this season. It allows the first member of the team who attains a 6-0 record to receive the pot of hoarded stamps from Subway, collected since the first tournament.

   “The great thing about forensics is that we’re all a family and every tournament we grow closer,” Rogers said.

   The team now has the Pi Kappa Delta Nationals to look forward to where they will compete to raise their standing of second place. This event will be held March 16-19 in St. Louis.

   “Our showing at the state tournament proves we are in a very competitive position for the national tournament and convention,” Rogers said.

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