Siloam Springs, Ark. (February 14, 2007) - John Brown University’s Speech and Debate team was crowned the state champion team for Arkansas universities at the Mardi Gras Classic and Tri-State Tournament held on the campus of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Feb. 9-11.
This is the third time in four years that JBU’s team has garnered the state championship, with rivals Arkansas Tech University and Henderson State taking second and third place respectively. JBU secured the state championship by placing first overall in debate for Arkansas schools and first overall in individual events.
Schools from Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi converged for three days of competition. At the end of the weekend, the overall state champion team was declared for each state.
One frequent competitor was absent from the Arkansas competition at the tournament.
“We were really disappointed that the University of Arkansas was not at the competition,” said Jason Hough, head coach of JBU’s speech and debate team. “They are our biggest in-state rival, and it is always a challenge to face their competitors.”
In its quest for the state championship, JBU garnered multiple individual awards. In debate, senior James Kuykendall and partner junior Brad Webber and senior partners Daniel Ostendorff and partner Zach Fuller both advanced to semi-finals in Open Parliamentary Debate.
Seniors Jamie Stallings and partner Joseph Baran received first place overall in Novice Parliamentary Debate, followed by sophomore David Baker and partner, sophomore J.D. Hegenmuhle, who earned second place in Novice Parliamentary Debate. Juniors Matt Nye and Lisa Luff, were semi-finalists in the Novice Parliamentary Debate; freshman Rissa Murphy and partner freshman Rebecca Clendenen, semi-finalists Novice Parliamentary Debate; and juniors Jenny Felts and partner senior John Thompson, were quarter-finalists Novice Parliamentary Debate.
In individual Public Debate, sophomore Matt Mellema advanced to quarter-finals. Senior Don David Turner and sophomore Josh Sooter also contributed points to the team with wins in individual Public Debate. Hegenmuhle and Nye were also recognized for excellence in public speaking, receiving fourth place overall speaker and fifth place overall speaker respectively. Also participating were senior Austin Teed and junior Aaron Brenner.
In individual events, Fuller secured a first place win in Communication Analysis and a semi-final berth in Impromptu Speaking. Webber received a third place finish in Communication Analysis, fifth place in Dramatic Duo with partner Hegenmuhle, and a semi-finalist berth in Impromptu Speaking. Kuykendall received a fourth place finish in Communication Analysis, fourth place in Dramatic Duo with partner Murphy, and a semi-finalist in impromptu. Ostendorff received a second place finish in Extemporaneous Speaking.
With this success tournament, JBU has once again qualified every member of the team for national competition. The team finishes its season at the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament held at Central Michigan University, March 8-10.
John Brown University is a private Christian university, ranked sixth by U.S. News & World Report in the Southern Region. JBU enrolls more than 2,000 students from 40 states and 45 countries. JBU is a member of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges & Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities.