Simpson College Speech & Debate finished the season at the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament on Sunday, March 23rd. Twelve students represented Simpson at this event. Marty Feeney helped with coaching and driving!
After 95 rounds of competition, 12 Simpson College speech and debate team students competed with 72 colleges and universities (largest Pi Kappa Delta national tournament in 101 years) in seven different events and won 10 awards.
Public Forum Debate
After six preliminary rounds in Public Forum Debate, Simpson’s Paul Safford and Jacob McLain were the #1 ranked team in the nation. They advanced through semi-finals to debate #2 Southwest Baptist University for the National Championship. Safford and McLain lost to Southwest on a 2-1 decision to be named the National Runners-Up in Varsity Public Forum Debate.
Jacob McLain was named the 2nd Speaker in the tournament. Ethan Fredrick received the 5th Speaker award. Jacy Gomez was the 8th speaker.
Ethan Fredrick and Jacy Gomez made it to the semi-final round in Public Forum Debate.
In Novice Public Forum Tegan Jarchow and Emma Kain finished preliminary rounds ranked 4th. They faced #1 Southwest Baptist in semi-finals, but lost on a 3-0 decision. Kiley Murray was named 5th Speaker, and Emma Kain 8th Speaker.
Robert Lyons placed 2nd in Student Congress Debate.
Overall the Simpson Debate Team who fielded only 1st and 2nd year students placed 14th in overall team points out of 72 schools nationwide. (This compares to last year’s 21st place finish.) Robert Lyons, Jacob McLain, Paul Safford, Michelle Beving, Kiley Murray, Emma Kain, Tegan Jarchow, Jacy Gomez, and Ethan Fredrick all contributed to this finish!
Simpson’s Speech Team debuted at this tournament for the first time in over two decades. The duo improv pair of Lyons and Gomez ranked first in the first round, but struggled in rounds two and three. Ellen Keyser would have competed in POI quarter finals if she had not been 24 seconds overtime in her third round. The speech team was also represented by Emma Kain, Melissa Belau, Tegan Jarchow, and Ethan Fredrick.
Fun Fact #1: Simpson College was one of the first Chapters to join Pi Kappa Delta in 1918. In 1922, Simpson College hosted the Pi Kappa Delta tournament in Indianola.
Fun Fact #2: Simpson’s public forum debate team won every tournament entered this year (Indianapolis, West Virginia, St Louis, and Kansas City) with the exception of PCSDL Nationals and PKD Nationals. At these two tournaments, Simpson ranked 2nd.
Fun Fact #3: Speech and debate competition includes all divisions of colleges and universities. No division breakdown like in athletics. So we competed against large school speech and debate scholarship students.
Not so Fun Fact #1: McLain and Safford (5-1) and Gomez and Fredrick (4-2) ranked 1st and 4th after six rounds. Unfortunately in the same bracket the higher seed moved to final round. Otherwise Simpson College could have closed out final round at a national tournament.