Skip to Main Content
Mobile Menu


Your source for campus news

Talkin’ Broncos Earn Top Awards at Spokane Tournament

By: Cienna Madrid   Published 9:01 am / October 24, 2017

Talkin Broncos team photoThe Pi Kappa Delta National Championship Boise State Speech and Debate team continued their 2017-18 season with a strong performance at the McPherson Classic in Spokane, Washington, Oct. 21-22. Competing against teams from Oregon State University, Azusa Pacific University, Carroll College, Pacific University and University of Idaho, the Talkin’ Broncos won first place in Overall Sweepstakes.

“Whitworth University is hosting the 2018 IPDA Debate National Championship in March so it was wonderful to come up and get familiar with the campus and the local judging pool,” said Manda Hicks, director of forensics. “This is a relatively young northwest tournament – only in its third year – so we got to enjoy competition with some new schools.”

In open public debate, four Boise State students won each of their quarter-final rounds and closed out the semi-final and final bracket. Madison Grady (senior, Whitefish, Montana) was the top seed tournament champion and winner of the fifth-place speaker award; Daniel Gardner (senior, Twin Falls) was the next highest seed out of prelims, taking second place; and both Janice Witherspoon (junior, Caldwell) and Andrew Castro (junior, White Plains, New York) were the next highest seeds finishing as semi-finalists. Hunter Carson (senior, Nampa) received the fourth-place speaker award and Connor Johnson (sophomore, Billings, Montana) received the first-place speaker award.

In individual events, Witherspoon led the Talkin’ Broncos with first place in after dinner speaking, second-place finishes in program oral interpretation, impromptu speaking and duo interpretation, and third place in dramatic interpretation. Castro took first place in both program oral interpretation and impromptu speaking. Tate Volbrecht (sophomore, Billings, Montana) took first place in both persuasive speaking and extemporaneous speaking; Sam Haskell (Junior, Tacoma, Washington) took first place in duo interpretation, second place in dramatic interpretation and fourth place in program oral interpretation. Mallory Clark (senior, Boise) took first place in duo interpretation, and third place in both prose interpretation and program oral interpretation. Elizabeth Popp (senior, Columbia, Missouri) took first place in prose interpretation and sixth place in informative speaking. Kaitlyn Rogers (senior, Boise) took first place in communication analysis. Johnson took first place in informative speaking.

Other top competitors include: Zach Hill (sophomore, Kuna), who took second place in both extemporaneous speaking and communication analysis, and fifth place in persuasive speaking; Carson, who took second place in both informative speaking and poetry interpretation; Mackenzie Moss (senior, Boise), who took second place in persuasive speaking, third place in informative speaking, and fourth place in extemporaneous speaking; Asia Miller (junior, Green River, Wyoming), who took second place in after dinner speaking and fourth place in informative speaking. Ximena Bustillo (sophomore, Nampa), who took second place in duo interpretation and fourth place in after dinner speaking; Kelsey Cooper (junior, Spring Creek, Nevada), who took second place in novice informative speaking; Grady, who took third place in persuasive speaking; Hailie Johnson-Waskow (senior, Nampa), who took fourth place in persuasive speaking and sixth place in program oral interpretation; Carson Lloyd (freshman, Boise), who took fourth place in novice extemporaneous speaking and fifth place in novice impromptu speaking; Kortni Clements (junior, Meridian), who took fifth place in both informative speaking and prose interpretation; Jamie Maas (senior, Meridian), who took sixth place in persuasive speaking; and Andde Mendez (senior, Nampa), who took fifth place in after dinner speaking.

The Talkin’ Broncos continue their 2017-18 season with the 87 annual Mahaffey Memorial Tournament hosted at Linfield College in McMinville, Oregon, Nov. 10-12. The Talkin’ Broncos are the 2017-18 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