Forensics Wins Big

The Concordia speech team is a state champ and two debate students qualified for the National Debate Tournament.

The Concordia speech team won the individual events team award and the overall Team Sweepstakes award at the Minnesota Collegiate Forensics Association State Tournament in Marshall, Minn.

The team won with 417 points, more than a 100-point spread over the second place team, University of Minnesota with 282, and third place Mankato with 211. Concordia has five state champions in Informative Speaking, Prose, Dramatic Interpretation, Impromptu Speaking and Communication Analysis.

Team members Abigayle Reese ’20 (CA and IMP), Leah Roberts ’21 (PRO and DI) and Lexi Docken ’21 (INFO) are state champions in those events. Team members Reese, Roberts and Dominic Meyers ’21 each won individual sweepstakes awards (second, third and fifth, respectively) for having earned the most points for competitors entered in at least four events.

The speech team had 12 members compete in 41 events with one member competing in six events and three members in five events. The team competes in 11 events and all (with the exception of Impromptu and Extemporaneous) are prepared speeches of 10 minutes each, most of which are memorized.

“We have a young team. We have no seniors and only three juniors,” said Dr. Najla Amundson, assistant professor of communication studies and director of speech. “We have 11 members including our four first-year competitors that all qualified for the National Individual Events Tournament (NIET) hosted this year at the University of Alabama. Our state win certainly helps us get more events qualified for nationals, but we do not depend on state for that.”

The season runs from late September through the national tournament in early April. Concordia typically travels to about five tournaments per semester.

“Many people assume we travel every weekend and that is not the case,” Amundson said.

The Concordia speech team is open to all students who would like to join, whether or not they have experience. Docken never competed in speech in high school and is the state champion in Informative Speaking and has earned a spot for the national tournament.

In debate news, Skye Spindler ’20, Eagle Bend, Alaska, and John Boals ’21, Apple Valley, Minn., qualified for the National Debate Tournament at the NDT District IV qualifying tournament. Teams from the University of Iowa and the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities also qualified as District IV representatives. Spindler and Boals are the 33rd Concordia team to qualify for the National Debate Tournament.