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Speaking Bearcats recapture MAFA title
BOLIVAR, Mo. – The Speaking Bearcats placed first in overall sweepstakes against a dozen colleges and universities across the state and region in the Missouri Association of Forensics Activities state tournament Feb. 15 and 16 at SBU.
“Our strong finish at the MAFA tournament was especially nice because it had been several years since the team had captured the top sweepstakes spot at the state tournament,” said Dr. David Bailey, SBU’s director of forensics, noting that the team last won the sweepstakes in 2009. “The intense level of competition we saw at this year’s tournament in both individual events and speech made this an especially satisfying achievement.”
SBU’s team overcame some unexpected challenges on the way to victory.
“A number of the Speaking Bearcats were either sick that weekend or had just gotten over being sick — which, of course, really messed around with our practice time,” Bailey said. “We were determined not to make excuses, but our team illnesses certainly did add to the challenge.”
The Speaking Bearcats finished second place in debate sweepstakes after piling up 18 debate wins in the preliminary rounds of both parliamentary and Lincoln Douglas debate. As has been the case all year, SBU’s first-year competitors fared well for their team.
· Freshman Micah Jordan was a semi-finalist in novice Lincoln-Douglas debate. He was also the third-place speaker in that event.
· The freshman team of Bobby Sterling and Micah Jordan was a semifinalist in novice parliamentary debate. Sterling took fifth place speaker in that event, while Micah Jordan finished fourth.
· The novice team of Julie Strubinger and Maggie Thomas also reached the semi-finals of novice parliamentary debate. Thomas was the top speaker in novice parliamentary debate, while Strubinger took second place speaker.
· In Open Parliamentary Debate, Meg Burns was the eighth-place speaker.
The team finished in fourth place in individual events sweepstakes behind a number of strong individual performances.
“Sophomore Meg Burns had an impressive tournament with strong finishes, including fourth place informative speaking, third place dramatic interpretation, third place prose interpretation and second place communication analysis,” Bailey said. “These strong results allowed Burns to finish the tournament in third place in pentathlon sweepstakes — essentially meaning she was the third highest individual scorer at the tournament.
Other individual achievements include:
· Julie Strubinger placed fifth in informative speaking and fourth place and top novice in after-dinner speaking.
· Freshman Leah Cleek placed sixth in prose interpretation, sixth in impromptu speaking and fifth place in oratory.
· Thomas and Sterling were named the top novice team in duo interpretation. Thomas also qualified to represent the state of Missouri at the Interstate Oratorical Competition this April in Shreveport, La., by virtue of her third-place finish in oratory.
· Freshman Chad Bryant placed fifth in after-dinner speaking.
The MAFA State Championship Tournament was the team’s last competition prior to the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament March 13-17 in St. Louis.
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