Cameron University speech and debate team claims championships, top awards at national tournaments

The members of the Cameron University speech and debate team wrapped up their competitive season with outstanding results at two national tournaments, the JV Nationals in Hutchinson, Kan., and the Pi Kappa Delta (PKD) National Comprehensive Tournament in Indianapolis, Ind. The team brought home national championships from both tournaments, as well as a slew of other top awards.

“These results are incredibly impressive, especially for such a young team,” says Sarah Collins, Cameron Director of Forensics. “I am incredibly proud of all the hard work and dedication these students put in, including giving up their Spring Break to compete at PKD for what turned out to be 16+hour days.  I am thrilled that the majority of the team will return next year. We are looking forward to the future.”

At the JV Nationals, a tournament for first- and second-year competitors, Jonathon Good, Tipton, and Amber Smith, Bixby, shared the NPDA national championship title with teammates Diana Reyes, Norman, and Danny McQuarters, Kansas City, Mo. Additionally, Smith was named second-place speaker, McQuarters was named fourth-place speaker, Savannah Price, Dallas, Texas, was named fifth-place speaker, and Good was named sixth-place speaker.

In Lincoln Douglas debate, both Smith and McQuarters made it to the final four, and Reyes was a quarterfinalist. McQuarters was named first-place speaker, Smith was named second-place speaker, and Reyes was named fifth-place speaker.

Good claimed a second-place finish in After Dinner Speaking, following by Steven Haber, Lawton, who finished third. Haber advanced to the final round in Extemporaneous Speaking and claimed a sixth-place finish.

 In Prose Interpretation, Savanna Sanders, Madill, advanced to the final round and placed fifth.

In Overall Sweepstakes, the team nabbed a third-place trophy in Division 1 Sweepstakes. Also competing and contributing to the team award were Kynzie Pierce, Frederick, and Curry Coleman, Sterling.

More than 2,000 entries from 80 schools were vying for titles at PKD. Price and Haber won the national championship in Junior Parliamentary debate, with Haber claiming the fourth-place speaker prize. Price was named ninth-place speaker. Good and Smith were semifinalists in the category.

In Open Parliamentary Date, two Cameron teams - Skylar Williams, Newton, Kan., and Zakariya Rajpari, Tahlequah, as well as McQuarters and Nick Pasternak, Kansas City, Mo. - made it to the top 16. Williams was named fourth place speaker.

In Persuasive Speaking, Pierce earned an excellent award by finishing in the top 20. In Congressional Debate, Coleman was recognized both as a Presiding Officer and the superior legislator for his chamber. Pierce was also named one of three outstanding legislators in her chamber.

As a team, Cameron finished third in Combined Debate Sweepstakes and eighth in Overall Combined Sweepstakes.  Reyes, Sanders and Katelynn Wright of Geronimo also participated in the competition and contributed to the team awards.