Monday, March 12, 2012

Speaking Bearcats Finish Strong at State Tournament and at LSU

Speaking Bearcats Finish Strong at State Tournament and at LSU

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

BOLIVAR, Mo. –The Southwest Baptist University Speaking Bearcats recently competed at the Missouri Association of Forensics Activities (MAFA) State Tournament at Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., and at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

At MAFA, the Speaking Bearcats earned second place in overall team sweepstakes, finishing just behind their host Truman State University. The Speaking Bearcats also finished third in individual events and debate sweepstakes.

The Speaking Bearcats won the following individual awards:

Freshman Shawna Barkley qualified to attend the prestigious Interstate Oratorical Competition in April with her second place finish in persuasive speaking. Barkley also placed fourth in communication analysis, and fifth in informative speaking.

Freshman Meg Burns won pentathlon (best overall individual events speaker at the whole tournament) on the strength of her excellent results such as first place in forensics criticism, second place in communication analysis, fourth place in after dinner speaking, sixth place in program of oral interpretation, and fourth place in prose interpretation.

Freshman Kaila Todd was top novice in poetry interpretation and impromptu speaking with sixth place finishes in each event. 

Freshman Nik Fischer placed third in communication analysis and seventh in informative speaking.

Sophomore Matt Adams placed sixth in informative speaking.

Freshman Jenna King was the sixth place speaker in after dinner speaking.

The freshman team of Nik Fischer and Shawna Barkley were Missouri State Champs in novice Parliamentary debate. Jenna King and Meg Burns reached the quarterfinals of novice parliamentary debate.

SBU’s Director of Forensics Dr. David Bailey said, “In the ‘Mardi Gras Classic’ on the campus of Louisiana State University, the contest was a small but very competitive swing tournament (two back to back tournaments in a single weekend) drawing national-caliber competition from all over the Southern United States, including perennial powerhouses such as the University of Alabama, George Mason University, Texas State University, McNeese State University, and William Carey University. The Speaking Bearcats finished first in overall sweepstakes for both halves of the swing and for the weekend.”

In debate, Speaking Bearcats won the following awards:

Catherine Lathrop reached the octofinals of international public debate.

Kaila Todd was a quarterfinalist in public debate.

Meg Burns and Jenna King had the sixth-best preliminary round record at the tournament and just barely missed breaking to the semi-finals of parliamentary debate.

Nik Fischer and Shawna Barkley took second place in parliamentary debate.

The two individual events tournaments were also quite rewarding for SBU. A few of the highlights included:

Nik Fischer took third place in pentathlon behind a fourth place finish in extemporaneous speaking, a sixth place finish in persuasion, a fourth place finish in informative, a fourth place finish in after dinner speaking, and a first place finish in communication analysis.

Shawna Barkley placed sixth in extemporaneous speaking, third place in communication analysis, and third place in persuasion.

Meg Burns was the tournament champion in dramatic interpretation taking first place in the event. She also won second place in communication analysis, fifth place in after dinner speaking, seventh place in prose interpretation, and sixth in program of oral interpretation.

Jenna King also had a strong showing in her events with a fourth place finish in persuasion and a sixth place finish in after dinner speaking.

The Speaking Bearcats also received recognition for their comprehensive approach to forensics. The LSU tournament gives a special award called the “Tiger Award” recognizing the total point contributions made by individual speakers in both speech and debate combined.

Dr. Bailey noted that “in an era when so many intercollegiate forensics programs specialize in one category or the other but rarely both, the Tiger Award is excellent recognition for the hard work students do to be effective competitors in both debate and speech.”

Dr. Bailey added, “I am delighted to report that SBU competitors took five of the top seven places in the ‘Tiger Award’ competition at the LSU tournament. This is a powerful testament to the tremendous talent, dedication, and work ethic of our student competitors. SBU’s top ‘Tiger Award’ winners were: Nik Fischer (1st), Shawna Barkley (2nd), Meg Burns (4th), Jenna King (5th), and Kaila Todd (7th).”

The Speaking Bearcats have been at home the past two weekends but are busy practicing for the National Comprehensive Tournament in Overland Park, Kan., March 16-18.


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SBU’s Office of Marketing and Communications is available to news media 24 hours a day at (417) 399-7918.