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Talkin’ Broncos Win New York’s Off Broadway Swing

By: Cienna Madrid   Published 11:15 am / December 8, 2017

Talkin' Broncos Team PhotoThe Pi Kappa Delta National Championship Boise State Speech and Debate team continued their 2017-2018 season with a first-time win at the Hofstra University and Nassau Community College Off Broadway Swing Dec. 2-3 in Garden City and Hempstead, New York. The Talkin’ Broncos won first place in Overall Sweepstakes, first place in Individual Events Sweepstakes, and first place in Debate Sweepstakes at both tournaments. The tournaments featured more than 20 schools, including Florida State University, Northwestern University, Tennessee State University, Marshall University, James Madison University, Rutgers and Brooklyn College.

“This is the first time Boise State has attended the swing, and the students faced completely different competition then they are accustomed to – you have interpretation and theatre powerhouses like Florida and Northwestern and Seton Hall, so the competition is awesome. We were able to be a part of a different community and compete with some of the best and came out the tournament champions – both days,” said Manda Hicks, director of forensics. “Pi Kappa Delta Nationals are at Hofstra next year, so the students were able get confident about logistics and the judging pool. The highlight of the tournament was that so many of our juniors and sophomores did well at the tournament – that bodes well for our team at nationals next year.”

In open public debate, Tate Volbrecht (sophomore, Billings, Montana) and Connor Johnson (sophomore, Billings, Montana) were tournament champions, with Volbrecht receiving the first place speaker award and Johnson receiving the second place speaker award. Kaitlyn Rogers (senior, Boise) finished as a semi-finalist and received the fifth place speaker award.

In open parliamentary debate, the team of Ximena Bustillo (sophomore, Nampa) and Jamie Maas (junior, Meridian) were tournament champions, with Bustillo winning the first-place speaker award and Maas winning the second-place speaker award. The team of Mackenzie Moss (senior, Boise) and Hailie Johnson-Waskow (senior, Nampa) finished as semi-finalists, with Moss receiving the third-place speaker award.

In individual events, Janice Witherspoon (junior, Caldwell) led the Talkin’ Broncos with first-place finishes in both after-dinner speaking and extemporaneous speaking. Across both tournaments, Witherspoon also took second place in after-dinner speaking, and third and fifth place in impromptu speaking.

Other top competitors include: Kortni Clements (junior, Meridian), who took second place in persuasive speaking, and both third and fifth place in informative speaking; Moss, who took second place in informative speaking, fourth in impromptu speaking, and sixth place in communication analysis; Volbrecht, who took second place in extemporaneous speaking and fourth place in impromptu speaking; Mallory Clark (senior, Boise) and Sam Haskell (junior, Tacoma, Washington), who took second place and sixth place in duo interpretation; Asia Miller (junior, Green River, Wyoming), who took second place in informative speaking; Zach Hill (sophomore, Kuna), who took third place in persuasive speaking at both tournaments and sixth place in prose interpretation; Ximena Bustillo (sophomore, Nampa), who took third place in after-dinner speaking; Andrew Castro (junior, White Plains, New York), who took both fifth and sixth place in dramatic interpretation and sixth place in poetry interpretation; Andde Mendez (senior, Nampa), who took both fifth place and a finalist award in after dinner speaking; Daniel Gardner (senior, Twin Falls), who finished fifth place in impromptu speaking; Hunter Carson (senior, Nampa), who was a finalist in informative speaking; and Maas, who was a finalist in extemporaneous speaking.

The Talkin’ Broncos finish their 2017-2018 conference season at Pacific University in January, then go on to Public Debate Nationals in March. The Talkin’ Broncos are the 2017-2018 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 Hicks at