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Talkin’ Broncos Take First Place at Oregon State Tournament

By: Cienna Madrid   Published 1:46 pm / February 21, 2017

Portrait of the 2016-17 debate team

2016-17 Talkin’ Broncos, photo by Allison Corona

The Boise State University Talkin’ Broncos took first place in Overall Sweepstakes at the 11th annual Earl Wells Memorial Speakeasy at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, Feb. 18-19, beating out other noteworthy northwest schools including College of Western Idaho, University of Portland and Lewis and Clark College.

In open public debate, Luke Yeates (senior, Boise) and Janice Witherspoon (sophomore, Caldwell) closed out the final round and shared the tournament championship. Madison Grady (Whitefish, Montana) and Zach Hill (freshman, Kuna) finished as quarter-finalists in open public debate, while Steve Silva (senior, Boise) and Kaelee Novich (freshman, Nampa) finished as quarter-finalists in novice public debate. Boise State competitors won multiple speaker awards with Novich in fourth place, Silva in third place, Witherspoon in second place, and Catherine Floate (senior, Meridian) in first place. For her first-place speaker performance, Floate was awarded the Jean Hartmann Popovich Debate Speaker Award.

In individual events Samantha Haskell (Tacoma, Washington) was recognized as both the pentathlon winner and the recipient of the Minette Phillips Overall Speaker Award. Haskell led the Talkin’ Broncos in scoring with first-place wins in both duo interpretation and program oral interpretation, a second-place award in prose interpretation, and a third-place award in poetry interpretation.

Other top competitors included: Mackenzie Moss (junior, Boise), who took first place in communication analysis, second place in after dinner speaking, and sixth place in informative speaking; Justin Fields (senior, Boise), who took first place in after-dinner speaking and second place in informative speaking; Grady, who took first place in persuasive speaking, third place in informative speaking, fourth place in extemporaneous speaking, and fifth place in communication analysis; Mallory Clark (junior, Boise), who took first place in duo interpretation and sixth place in prose; Witherspoon, who took first in dramatic interpretation and fifth in impromptu speaking; Ryan Orlando (senior, Meridian), who took first place in impromptu speaking; Kelsey Cooper (sophomore, Spring Creek, Nevada), who took first place in novice impromptu speaking; Tate Volbrecht (freshman, Billings, Montana), who took second place in both impromptu speaking and extemporaneous speaking, and third place in after dinner speaking; Daniel Gardner (junior, Twin Falls), who took second place in dramatic interpretation and fourth place in poetry interpretation; Yeates, who took second place in impromptu speaking and fifth place in dramatic interpretation; Hill, who took second place in persuasive speaking; Lauren Peña (junior, Meridian), who took third place in dramatic interpretation and fourth place in program oral interpretation; Hunter Carson (junior, Nampa), who took third place in prose interpretation and fourth place in dramatic interpretation; Connor Johnson (freshman, Billings), who took third place in extemporaneous and fourth place in impromptu; Silva, who took third place in impromptu speaking and fifth place in prose interpretation; Hailie Johnson-Waskow (junior, Nampa), who took third place in persuasive speaking; Andde Mendez (senior, Nampa), who took third place in program oral interpretation; Kacie Hoch (senior, Boise), who took fourth place in prose; Kaitlyn Rogers (junior, Boise), who took fourth place in communication analysis; Jamie Maas (junior, Meridian), who took fourth place in persuasive speaking; Brandon Sams (senior, Mountain Home), who took fifth place in informative speaking; Justin Hentry (senior, Kennewick, WA), who took sixth place in impromptu; and Kortni Clements (sophomore, Meridian), who took sixth place in persuasive speaking.

The Talkin’ Broncos are the 2015-2016 Pi Kappa Delta National Champions in Speech and Debate and 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 mandahicks@boisestate.edu.