Debate and Forensics gets National Titles- Again!

Written by on April 15, 2021

The KWU Debate and Forensics team has won dozens and dozens of national titles in the past 15 years and despite the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous technical issues, and the upcoming retirement of long-time coach Gary Harmon the team has continued this trend this year.  There are two big national tournaments every year for the debate/forensics team- Pi Kappa Delta and NCCFI (National Christian College Forensics Invitational). Usually students on the team travel coast to coast for these tournaments however, this year these things looked a little different. Debate and Forensics competed in two national tournaments virtually, in a variety of rooms on laptops in Sams Hall of Fine Arts, right here on campus. 

Pi Kappa Delta is the hardest tournament of the season and this year had over 75 schools from across the nation competing virtually (this includes many, many D1 schools). KWU’s very own team was able to get 15th place in overall sweepstakes meaning we were ranked 15th out of all the schools attending. In addition to this big win which was a team effort, many students on the team also garnered individual awards. 

Savannah Bonilla was in the octafinals of parliamentary debate. 

Bryce Boyd was 5th place in extemporaneous speaking, was in quarter finals in parliamentary debate and informative, and got excellence awards (meaning top 30% at the tournament) in impromptu.

Madi Mitchell was in the quarter finals of parliamentary debate. 

Madeline Norrell was in the quarter finals of novice individual parliamentary debate and got the 10th place speaker award in the same category of debate. 

Elizabeth Schaefer was in the semifinal round of dramatic interpretation.

Abby Wray was 5th place in dramatic interpretation, an octafinalist in parliamentary debate, got the 7th place speaker award in parliamentary debate, and excellence awards (top 30%) in both interviewing and extemporaneous speaking. 

Abby Wray | KWU Student Media

National Champions with Coach Kiefer

This is the best KWU has performed at Pi Kappa Delta in a long time and we are very proud of each member of the KWU debate and forensics squad but that’s not all! They also attended NCCFI nationals, which is a gathering of Christian colleges from across the nation to compete at. The team did exceptionally well placing 3rd in the nation in overall sweepstakes! Not only, did KWU get 3rd in the nation as a team but they also took home 3 new national titles. 

Bryce Boyd is the national title holder in BOTH extemporaneous speaking and parliamentary speaking. In addition to this he also got 5th place in persuasive speaking.

Abby Wray is the national title holder in dramatic interpretation and also was 3rd in program of oral interpretation, 6th in extemporaneous speaking, and 7th in overall individual sweeps.

Elizabeth Schaefer got 3rd place in dramatic interpretation and 4th place in program of oral interpretation. 

Savannah Bonilla got 2nd place in Lincoln Douglas Debate and novice extemporaneous speaking.

Madeline Norrell got 5th place speaker in novice individual parliamentary debate.

Madi Mitchell got 3rd in communication analysis and 5th place speaker in parliamentary debate.

It’s clear the team put in the time and effort necessary to end the season very successfully. Congratulations to those students and everyone else make sure to continue supporting all the teams on campus this year and next year.

Abby Wray | KWU Student Media

KWU debate/forensics team with Coach Kiefer after the big wins

Abby Wray | KWU Student Media

KWU debate/forensics team outside of Fine Arts building after competing

Abby Wray | KWU Student Media

Team with Coach Harmon


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