JBU Speech and Debate Earns National Honors

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The JBU Speech and Debate team displays the trophies and awards they earned in national competition at the National Christian College Forensics Invitational in San Diego, Calif.

Siloam Springs, Ark (April 22, 2003) - In only its third year of existence, the JBU Speech and Debate team recently brought home several honors from the National Christian College Forensics Invitational. JBU earned second place in individual events and fifth place in overall debate. The National Christian College Forensics Invitational was hosted by Pt. Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, Calif. The tournament serves as a national venue for speech and debate teams across the U.S. JBU was one of 21 competing colleges and universities from the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities. Seventeen states were represented by the 21 competing universities. As Arkansas’ only delegate, the JBU team performed well in both individual events and team debate. “It was as incredible weekend,” said coach Jason Hough. “This is the team’s third year of existence, and to walk away with two national awards showed the quality of this team. The reputation and excellence this team has built in just three years is extraordinary.” Several team members scored high in the individual events category. In an impressive sweep, JBU’s three entries in the novice Dramatic Duo category placed first, second and third. Duo partners and sophomores James Barnes and Lindsey Toney won first place with their enactment of scenes from “The Diary of Anne Frank”. Following close behind were freshman Daniel Ostendorff and sophomore Tori McCracken with their interpretation of the play “The Stonewater Rapture”. In third place were sophomores Caleb Summers and Liz Dodson with their interpretation of the play “A Need for Brussel Sprouts”. “James and I were shocked and excited,” said Toney. “I feel like our hard work finally paid off.” Assistant coach Josh Bentley agrees. “It was absolutely amazing to take first through third,” said Bentley. “It just shows how hard the team has worked and how effective the team will be in the future.” Also scoring points for the team in individual events were senior Kassandra Bohlender placing 4th, performing the prose “Plantation Princess from Another Planet.” Sophomore Devi Abraham placed 4th in Persuasive Speaking with a speech about the ethnic conflict in her home country Sri Lanka, and sophomore Jessica Hunsberger placed 5th with her poetry compilation “From the Insane Asylum”. Placing 5th overall but not receiving an award were members of the Reader’s Theater entitled “Christians with Addictions”. The members were McCracken, Hunsberger, Summers, and freshman Leila McNeill. Scoring points in novice debate were partners Abraham and freshman Virginia Moor, securing a quarterfinal finish. Partners Dodson and freshman Jenny Jackson, along with partners senior Heather Brewer and sophomore Seth Wright, secured octofinals placement. Not advancing to outrounds but scoring debate points for the team were partners sophomore Daniel West and Ostendorff, sophomores Cole Truitt and Felicia Parmain, and seniors Bohlender and Jena Richmond. This was the last tournament of the year for the team. Competition for next year’s season will begin in October. John Brown University is a private university with an enrollment of more than 1,700 students from 42 states and 45 countries. JBU is a member of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.

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