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Simpson College Speech and Debate Team Crowns Two in St. Louis

Simpson College's nationally-recognized speech and debate program scored a top-three finish at Webster University's Gorlock Invitational


The Simpson College speech and debate team crowned two division champions as part of a third-place finish in the team sweepstakes at Webster University’s Gorlock Invitational on Jan. 26-27 in St. Louis. Simpson competed against 38 colleges and universities from across the country, bringing home 29 awards.

The tournament featured several teams that will join Simpson at the national tournament in March. Head coach Spencer Waugh liked what he saw from his team despite not competing with a full team.

“I am optimistic about nationals based on our results at the Gorlock Invitational, especially when considering we only brought about half of the team to the tournament,” said Waugh. “The speech team put together its best performance ever at this tournament. We also learned what we need to work on over the coming weeks to get ready for nationals.”

Speech and debate team members pose with their awards.

Simpson’s division champions included Danielle Blake and Casey Spring in public forum debate and Elise Sturgeon and Kylie Doupnik in junior varsity parliamentary debate.

The duo of Blake and Spring went a perfect 6-0 to win the public forum debate division. Sturgeon and Doupnik also posted an undefeated record, going 9-0 to win the junior varsity parliamentary debate division. Blake earned Top Public Forum Debate Speaker honors while Sturgeon won Top Junior Varsity Parliamentary Speaker honors.

Sam Porter was Simpson’s other finalist, placing second in the Lincoln Douglas debate division. The first-year student upset the tournament’s top seed in the quarterfinals before advancing to the final round.

Simpson — the two-time defending Pi Kappa Delta National Debate Champion — is set to compete at this year’s national tournament March 27-30 at San Diego State University. Simpson has won the national debate championship in three of the last four years.

Speech Results

4th place, Duo: Kylie Burmeister and Edan Moad
5th place, Poetry: Kyle Doupnik
6th place, Extemp: Drake Wood
6th place, Duo Improv: Erayle Ashley and Maggie Flowers

Debate Results

Public Forum
1st place: Danielle Blake and Casey Spring
Top Speaker: Danielle Blake
Second Speaker: Drake Wood
Third Speaker: Caroline McAlexander
Sixth Speaker: Casie Redhage
Seventh Speaker: Jake Stoulil

JV Parliamentary
1st place: Elise Sturgeon and Kylie Doupnik
Quarterfinalist: Casie Redhage and Drake Wood
Top Speaker: Elise Sturgeon
Seventh Speaker: Kyle Doupnik

Novice Lincoln Douglas
2nd place: Sam Porter
Eighth Speaker: Sam Porter

Varsity Parliamentary
Octofinalists: Coby Berg and Jake Stoulil
Octofinalists: Casey Spring and Danielle Blake
Eighth Speaker: Jake Stoulil
Tenth Speaker: Coby Berg

Novice Parliamentary
Top Speaker: Caroline McAlexander