Monday, April 26, 2010

Forensics Team Finishes the Season Strong in Minnesota

Southwest Baptist University News Release
Contact: Sharina Smith, Office of Marketing & Communications
417-328-1803 /

BOLIVAR, Mo. – The Southwest Baptist University speech and debate team ended their season with a strong showing at the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament held in Minnesota.  Fifty-six colleges and universities from twenty other states attended this tournament.  Speakers representing SBU included Caprice Applequist, Kelly Crosby, Jordan Hart, Evan Johnson, Becca Koe, Chelsea Turner, Jenna Ward, and Justin Wessels.  The team was accompanied by Acting Director of Forensics Jordan Compton, former team member Brea Morris, and was eventually joined by Dr. Jeff Waters, dean of the Geneva Casebolt College of Music, Arts & Letters.

            In assessing the three long days of competition, Compton noted:  “The manner in which our students represented themselves, the team, and the University at this extremely competitive tournament was nothing short of amazing.  The quality and quantity of competition at this tournament is hard to describe.  We competed with the best of the best.”  This was the second tournament of the season that the team had been without the late Dr. Bob Derryberry, long-time director of SBU’s forensics team.  Compton noted:  “Bob Derryberry always casts a large shadow at any tournament, but his absence at a PKD tournament was apparent to us and many other teams as well.  I was so proud of the way our team handled this difficult circumstance.”

            In overall achievement at the tournament, the SBU team finished fifth in debate, ninth in individual events, and seventh in overall competition.  Some of the other top programs included Ohio University, Gustavus Adolphus, Boise State, Carson-Newman, and Webster University. 

            In reflection of his experience at the PKD tournament, Dr. Waters commented:  “It was an absolutely delightful experience to see our students in action as they not only represented the finest in public speaking skill and artistry, but as they so beautifully represented their university and its established reputation in this arena.”

            SBU had numerous individual achievements in both individual events and debate.  In duo interpretation, the team of Becca Koe and Evan Johnson were Semi-Finalists.  Koe and Johnson also received awards in Persuasive Speaking with Becca finishing in third place and Johnson receiving a Semi-Finalist award.  Koe was also a Semi-Finalist in Dramatic Interpretation.  Caprice Applequist and Jordan Hart were Quarter-Finalists in Extemporaneous Speaking and finished in sixth and fourth place respectively in the experimental To Honor the Environment event.  Applequist was also a Quarter-Finalist in Informative Speaking and received an Excellent award in Impromptu Speaking.  Also receiving an Excellent award was Justin Wessels.  Kelly Crosby received a Quarter-Finalist award in Poetry Interpretation.

            In debate, the Open Parliamentary Debate team of Jordan Hart and Becca Koe earned first place for their efforts at the tournament.  Compton said he had “the pleasure of handing Hart and Koe their first place trophies with a possible tear in his eyes -- a topic that is still being debated among the team.”  Kelly Crosby was the first place speaker in IPDA and was also a Semi-Finalist.  The Novice Parliamentary Debate team of Jenna Ward and Chelsea Turner were Quarter-Finalists.  The Open Parliamentary Debate team of Caprice Applequist and Evan Johnson were Octa-Finalists with Johnson receiving the fifteenth place speaker award.   

            Tournament Director and Director of Forensics at Webster University, Scott Jensen, had words of praise for the efforts of the SBU squad:  “I take my hat off to Mr. Compton and the fine group of scholars at SBU. I have admired your program since I was a freshman in 1981. And I have never admired it (and its students and staff) more than I did this weekend. Be proud. You deserve it.”


Southwest Baptist University is a leader among private universities in truly integrating Christ-centered academic pursuits with comprehensive professional programs at an affordable price. Since 1878, the faculty and staff have created a caring, academic community to prepare students to be servant leaders in a global society. The University has been named one of America’s Best Christian Colleges® for 13 consecutive years, one of America’s 100 Best College Buys® for 14 consecutive years, and it has been named among institutions with America’s Best College Scholarships ® for the past three years by Institutional Research and Evaluation, Inc. For more information, visit

SBU’s Office of Marketing & Communications is available to news media 24/7 at 417-399-7918.