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Talkin’ Broncos Kick Off the Year by Dominating the Golden Eagle Classic

By: Kathleen Tuck   Published 10:10 am / September 30, 2011

Boise State’s speech and debate team kicked off its 2011-2012 season with a dominating performance at the Golden Eagle Invitational at College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, Sept. 23-24. Competing with 10 other schools from four states, the Talkin’ Broncos took top awards in debate, won 30 individual events, placed first in sweepstakes and were awarded the Idaho Speech Conference Cup.

In open division parliamentary debate, the team of Jon Agnew (junior, Idaho Falls) and Taylor Bruun (junior, Idaho Falls) took third place overall and the team of Tanya Medukha (sophomore, Blackfoot) and Lauren Bramwell (sophomore, St. Anthony) advanced to quarter finals. Both Medukha and Agnew received top speaker awards in debate. In novice division parliamentary debate, the team of Norell Conroy (senior, Atascadero, Calif.) and Kat Mahler (senior, Boise) advanced to quarter finals. Conroy received the first place speaker award for parliamentary debate.

In open division public debate, the Talkin’ Broncos emerged from preliminary rounds with the top six seeds, therefore closing out final rounds for all other schools. Boise State had six of the top 10 public debate speakers with Robin Jensen (sophomore, Idaho Falls) placing first, Joshua Watkins (junior, Kuna) placing second, and Cassandra Sullivan (sophomore, Idaho Falls), Steve Lee (junior, Sandpoint), Dalton Hellman (sophomore, Canby, Ore.) and Katherine Miller (junior, Eagle) all placing in the remaining top 10.

In novice division public debate, Skyler Bagley (junior, Sugar City) and KayCee Babb (freshman, Weiser) were both quarter finalists. Devon Downey (sophomore, Nampa) received a third-place speaker award with Harvest Spence (junior, Boise), Howie Long (senior, Orange Park, Fla.) and Babb all receiving awards in the top 10.

In individual events, Watkins led the Talkin’ Broncos in scoring with first-place finishes in after dinner speaking and communication analysis and second-place awards in program oral interpretation of literature and informative speaking. Other first-place finishes included Jessica Gresl (sophomore, Kuna) in oral interpretation of prose, Agnew in impromptu speaking, Sullivan in informative speaking, Hellman in persuasive speaking, Conroy in novice communication analysis and Babb in novice poetry.

Top award winners for Boise State were Hellman, who placed second in impromptu speaking, third in informative speaking and was a finalist in extemporaneous speaking; Sullivan, who placed second in extemporaneous speaking and was a finalist in dramatic interpretation; Gresl, who placed third in both dramatic interpretation and poetry; Bramwell, who placed third in both program oral interpretation and prose; Jensen, who placed second in persuasive speaking and was a finalist in informative speaking; Lee, who placed third in extemporaneous speaking; Bruun, who place third in persuasive speaking; Monica Cutler (junior, Fairfield), who was a finalist in both poetry and prose; and Sabonn Dammarell (sophomore, Boise), who was a finalist in prose.

The Talkin’ Broncos shut out 10 other schools in two events, placing first, second and third in both persuasive speaking and informative speaking.

They continue on to Portland, Ore., for the Steve Hunt Classic on Oct. 6. The Talkin’ Broncos are the 2011 Pi Kappa Delta National Champions in Speech and Debate. For more information about the Talkin’ Broncos, contact Manda Hicks, director of forensics at Boise State at