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Talkin’ Broncos Win Pi Kappa Delta Speech and Debate National Championship — Again

By: Kathleen Tuck   Published 12:34 pm / March 18, 2013

The Boise State University Talkin’ Broncos are the 2013-2014 Pi Kappa Delta National Champions in speech and debate.

Boise State successfully defended its 2011-2012 national championship title and took first place overall at the 48th Pi Kappa Delta National Speech and Debate biennial tournament in St. Louis, Mo., March 13-16. The Talkin’ Broncos beat out 88 other schools from 36 states to win the tournament championship.

Boise State also won the national championship in 2011 and 2005 and was runner-up in 2007 and 2009 at the biennial tournament.

“They worked really hard as a team. That’s it, that’s all,” said Manda Hicks, director of forensics. “It is so gratifying to see their hard work pay off. With this kind of activity there are a lot of variables and it’s very difficult to make it all come together. They worked as a team and did the tedious, miserable stuff that’s necessary for success and they won. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

In British Parliamentary Debate, the team of Dalton Hellman, (junior, Canby, Ore.) and KayCee Babb (sophomore, Weiser) took home a Superior Award and finished second place overall in the tournament. In Legislative Debate, Fred Swanstrum (freshman, Kuna) received the Top Superior Award and Howie Long (senior, Orange Park, Fla.) received an Excellent. In Public Debate, Josh Watkins (senior, Kuna) and Long were both tournament quarter-finalists, with Long receiving a Superior award and Watkins receiving an Excellent. Other Excellent awards in Public Debate included: Lauren Bramwell (junior, St. Anthony), Sabonn Dammarell (senior, Boise) and Swanstrum. In Discussion, Monica Cutler (senior, Fairfield) received a Superior award. In Public-Forum Debate, the team of Katharine Miller (senior, Eagle) and Brittany Clark (junior, Kuna) received an Excellent award.

Top competitors in individual events included:

  • Taylor Bruun (senior, Idaho Falls) received a Superior in both Impromptu Speaking and Extemporaneous Speaking.
  • Hellman received the Top Superior Award in Persuasive Speaking and Excellent awards in Impromptu Speaking, Informative Speaking and Extemporaneous Speaking.
  • Bramwell received a Superior in Broadcast Journalism and Excellent awards in Prose Interpretation and Duo Interpretation.
  • Clark received the Top Superior Award in Broadcast Journalism and an Excellent in Poetry Interpretation.
  • Taylor Ashe (freshman, Star) received a Superior award in Broadcast Journalism and Excellent awards in To Honor PKD and Poetry Interpretation.
  • Watkins received a Superior in After-Dinner Speaking and an Excellent in Impromptu Speaking
  • Babb and Swanstrum received a Superior in Oral History.
  • Jon Agnew (senior, Idaho Falls) received Excellent awards in Impromptu Speaking, After-Dinner Speaking and Broadcast Journalism.
  • Mike FitzGerald (senior, Spokane, Wash.) received Excellent awards in Impromptu Speaking, Informative Speaking and Persuasive Speaking.
  • Babb received Excellent awards in Poetry Interpretation, Program Oral Interpretation and Communication Analysis.
  • Dammarell received Excellent awards in Poetry Interpretation and Prose Interpretation
  • Sylvia Fortner (sophomore, Kimberly) received Excellent awards in Impromptu Speaking and Prose Interpretation.
  • Tanya Medukha (senior, Blackfoot) received an Excellent award in Program Oral Interpretation.
  • Cutler received an Excellent award in Duo Interpretation.
  • Skyler Bagley (senior, Sugar City) received an Excellent award in Prose Interpretation.
  • Devon Downey (junior, Nampa) received an Excellent award in Extemporaneous Speaking.
  • Krista Paterson (freshman, Blackfoot) received an Excellent in Informative Speaking.
  • Joann King (freshman, Mountain Home) received an Excellent in Prose Interpretation.
  • Swanstrum received an Excellent in Broadcast Journalism.

In addition to the team success, Watkins was named to the 2013-2014 Pi Kappa Delta All-American team, an award bestowed biennially to seven competitors with exemplary academic records who demonstrate a history of community service and exceptional forensics success. Watkins also was awarded Top Student Paper in the student scholarship competition.

This win finishes up the Talkin’ Broncos regular season. Qualifying squads continue on to the National Parliamentary Debate Championship in Stockton, Calif., March 22-26 and the National Individual Event Tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas, April 5-9. The Talkin’ Broncos are supported in part through the generosity of the Jeker Family Trust. For more information about the Talkin’ Broncos, contact Manda Hicks, director of forensics at Boise State, at