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Home Arts & Culture Concordia Speech & Debate ranks in multiple categories during state tournament

By Mi-Ree Zwick


Concordia’s Speech & Debate team ranked in multiple speech categories during the Nebraska Intercollegiate Forensics Association State Tournament this weekend, with Madelyn Graham coming in 2nd in Prose to lead the team.

This year the tournament was held at Doane University in Crete.

Micah Knerl, who ranked seventh in Extemporaneous Speaking, said speech and debate is all about the “art of communication.” He added that it equips people with the ability to “speak about a topic in a way that allows all people to understand.”

With the help of coaches, speech teams research, construct arguments, memorize, learn and create interesting performances that any audience can understand.

“As a coach, it is satisfying to help people to both discover themselves through performance and also help them articulate their ideas,” says Malia Frerking, assistant coach.

She said people are drawn to “what they find comes naturally” to them and shared that the team’s mantra is “Meraki,” which means to put a little bit of yourself into what you do.”

Team member Brynn Holtmeier said speech and debate is “an activity that allows you to be able to speak about topics that you’re passionate about,” and allows you to listen and consider others’ passions and perspectives.

In the past, CUNE’s Speech & Debate team has placed in the Top 20 in the American Forensic Association National Speech Tournament. Opposing teams at NIFA also tend to rank high in nationals.

Concordia’s rankings in the tournament are as follows:

1st in Division II Sweepstakes

Prose — 2nd Madelyn Graham

Communication Analysis — 3rd Mckenna McSpadden

Extemporaneous Speaking — 5th Thomas McKinnon, 6th Tristin Kinderknecht, 7th Micah Knerl

Impromptu Speaking — 4th Tristin Kinderknecht

Informative Speaking — 6th Emily Bonilla

Oratory — 5th Esther Molina

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