Cameron University speech and debate team claims top prize at state tournament
Cameron University’s speech and debate team claimed victory at the recent Oklahoma Intercollegiate Forensic Association’s state tournament. Cameron’s team emerged as the tournament champion in Overall Sweepstakes and won the state championship in both Debate Sweepstakes and Combined (Debate and Individual Event) Sweepstakes. They defeated opponents from 17 schools.
“This was an incredible tournament for our team,” says Sarah Collins, Director of Forensics. “The majority of our 14 competitors are in their first or second year of collegiate competition. To win first in the state is a huge accomplishment for this group and a testament to their hard work and dedication.”
Cameron’s team dominated the individual events. Savanna Sanders, Madill, and Jonathan Good, Tipton, were named state champions in Duo Interpretation. Good also claimed the state championship in After Dinner Speaking, the category in which Steven Haber, Lawton, claimed a fourth-place finish. Katelynn Wright, Geronimo, was named state champion in Informative Speaking and finished sixth in Extemporaneous Speaking. Her success led to a second-place ranking in Pentathon, the individual student sweepstakes. Skylar Williams, Newton, Kan., won the state championship in Impromptu Speaking, and Curry Coleman, Sterling, won the state championship in Dramatic Interpretation.
In Parliamentary Debate, teammates Williams and Zakariya Rajpari, Tahlequah, made it to the final four round. Haber and his partner Savannah Price, Dallas, Texas, made it to the elite eight round, a successful foray for the two, who are in their first year of collegiate competition. Price was named fifth-place speaker.
In Lincoln Douglas Debate, Danny McQuarters, Kansas City, Mo., was named state champion. Nick Pasternak, Kansas City, Mo., was named fourth-place speaker, and Amber Smith, Bixby, was named sixth-place speaker. Diana Reyes, Oklahoma City, made it to the elite eight round, a significant accomplishment as this is the first semester in which Reyes has competed. Rajpari also made it to the elite eight round.
Kynzie Pierce, Frederick, also competed in the tournament and helped contribute to the team’s overall success.
The team will participate in two national tournaments in March, the JV Nationals for first and second-year competitors in Hutchinson, Kan., and the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament in Indianapolis.