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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

Members of Northwest's Speaking Bearcats forensics team placed ninth at the Pi Kappa Delta Biennial Convention, March 14-16 at Webster University in St. Louis. Gabbi Ray (pictured second from right in first row) was crowned the national champion in Program of Oral Interpretation. (Submitted photo)

Members of Northwest's Speaking Bearcats forensics team placed ninth at the Pi Kappa Delta Biennial Convention, March 14-16 at Webster University in St. Louis. Gabbi Ray (pictured second from right in first row) was crowned the national champion in Program of Oral Interpretation. (Submitted photo)

March 21, 2013

Speaking Bearcats place in top 10 at national forensics tournament, Gabbi Ray is individual national champion

Northwest Missouri State University’s Speaking Bearcats forensics team placed ninth in the nation while competing against 90 schools at the Pi Kappa Delta Biennial Convention, March 14-16 at Webster University in St. Louis.  

In addition to the team’s ninth-place finish, which came in the Individual Events Sweepstakes category, Gabbi Ray, a junior merchandising major from St. Louis, was crowned the national champion in Program of Oral Interpretation.

The Pi Kappa Delta Biennial Convention is the organization’s national tournament. This year the competition drew more than 1,600 entries for its 27 events.

Northwest Director of Forensics Brian Swafford said the Speaking Bearcats will continue to build on their success during the academic year, which included claiming the state title last month at the Missouri Association of Forensic Activities championship.

“This year has been an incredible one for the Speaking Bearcats,” Director of Forensics Brian Swafford said. “Over the course of the season, students found their voice and had success at both the state and national tournaments. They tried new events they had never attempted before and were rewarded for their efforts. While it is easy to focus on the championships, I am even more impressed by the students that were event finalists for the first time, the freshmen that were in the top 10 percent at nationals and the efforts by students trying new things outside their comfort zone. Because of the successes this year, we position ourselves for greater things going into next year.”

At the national tournament, three Northwest competitors were selected to appear in showcase rounds. Ray participated in the Program of Oral Interpretation showcase; Tony Pulford, a junior from Independence, was selected for the Dramatic Interpretation showcase; and Carl Stafford, a senior speech and theater education major from St. Louis, was selected for the Prose Interpretation showcase.

In Program of Oral Interpretation, Ray, Stafford and Sam Stone, a senior elementary education major from Independence, each received “superior” ratings. Mike Brown, a junior speech and theater education major from Independence, earned an “excellent” rating.

In Dramatic Interpretation, Pulford placed third, earning a “superior” rating. Stafford also received a “superior” rating, while Kelsey Bowers, a junior speech and theater education major from Independence, and Ray received “excellent” ratings.

Stafford and Pulford were awarded “superior” ratings in Prose Interpretation. Bowers, Ray and Stone received “excellent” ratings.

Other top finishes for the Northwest team included:

  • Ray and Stafford received “excellent” scores in Dramatic Duo Interpretation.
  • Stone received a “superior” rating and Ray scored as “excellent” in Poetry Interpretation.
  • Stafford earned an “excellent” rating in Impromptu Speaking.
  • Bowers received an “excellent” rating in Informative Speaking.
  • Katie Arp, a freshman English education major from Westin, Neb., received a “superior” rating in Persuasive Speaking.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468