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March 26, 2014
The Northwest Missouri State University Speaking Bearcats forensics team capped a successful season March 21-23 at the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament in Indianapolis, where each of the team’s 13 individual competitors earned an award, including three national champion distinctions.
The Speaking Bearcats placed sixth in Overall Sweepstakes and seventh in Individual Events Sweepstakes. Both places are improvements from last year’s Pi Kappa Delta showing, when the team finished unranked in Overall Team Sweepstakes and 10th in Individual Events Team Sweepstakes.
In addition to the team success, Hugh Slaton (freshman zoology major from DeSoto, Ga.,) was crowned the national champion in Legislative Debate, Nick Van Ross (freshman marketing major from Lee’s Summit) earned the national championship in Novice Public Forum debate, and TyQuan Baskin (freshman speech and theater education major from Kansas City) and Emily Meyers (freshman public relations major from Maryville) are national champions in Improv Duet Acting Team.
The top finishes raised the Speaking Bearcats’ total to four national championships this season. Meyers and Van Ross also took the national title in Public Forum Debate last month at the Public Communication Speech and Debate League National Tournament.
The wins also increase Northwest’s national championship total across academic and athletic programs to 14 since fall 2009. Forensics team members have claimed six championships during the last four years, while the Bearcat cheerleaders have three national championships and the Bearcat football team has two. Northwest radio station KZLX, agricultural sciences students and the Northwest wrestling club each have one.
While each of the Speaking Bearcats’ national champions this season are freshman competitors, the fact that all 13 Northwest competitors earned at least one award at the Pi Kappa Delta is equally impressive, Director of Forensics Brian Swafford said.
“That speaks to the dedication, commitment and talent of these students,” Swafford said. “As a coach, I couldn't be more proud of their effort.”
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, the University of Indianapolis and Butler University hosted the tournament. It was the largest Pi Kappa Delta national tournament in the history of the organization with nearly 80 schools, more than 2,000 speech entries and 600 debate entries registered.
Individual results for Northwest competitors at the Pi Kappa Delta tournament appear below.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468