By Mike Greife, September 29, 2015
WARRENSBURG, MO – The University of Central Missouri Talking Mules speech and debate
team traveled to the Debates on a Plain Speech and Debate Tournament, at Hutchinson
County Community College, Hutchinson, Kan., Sept. 26-27 to open the 2015-16 tournament
season for the Talking Mules.
Seventeen colleges and universities from across Missouri, Kansas Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska competed in the season’s unofficial opener.
“We refer to this entry as ‘unofficial opening’ because only a few key members from the team made the trip,” said Jack Rogers, director of forensics. “They were testing the competitive waters for us.” The first full tournament for the Talking Mules will be this coming weekend Oct. 2-3 at Southwest Baptist University with our largest competitive UCM squad in 15 years.
Senior Samantha Begley took first place in both halves of the swing tournament, winning the Lincoln-Douglas division. Senior Tyler Slinkard finished as a quarter-finalist in the first half and placed second in the last half. Newcomer Sam Eames finished as a semi-finalist in the first half and a quarter-finalist in the second.
Begley emerged as the Overall Top Speaker for the tournament. The Mules finished with a first place Debate Sweepstakes trophy and a second place Overall Sweeps Swing Debate trophy with an entry of only three debaters in a single debate division.
“What a great start to our year!” said Begley, team captain. “We couldn’t be happier with the results. We are especially proud of Sam Eames, our newbie in his first tournament!
“The results reflect hard work, determination, and a lot of skill and teamwork,” said Kiefer Storrer, graduate assistant coach for the Talking Mules.
In individual events competition, Senior Tagan Trahoon finished as a semi-finalist in prose and fourth place in dramatic interpretation. Senior Johanna Kelly finished in third place in communication analysis. They added enough points that the team combined to take third place in overall tournament Sweeps with an entry of just five debaters.