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Talkin’ Broncos take third-place overall at largest Mahaffey in history

The 2022-2023 Talkin' Broncos Speech and Debate Team from Boise State standing in the amphitheater.
The 2022-23 Talkin’ Broncos Team with Manda Hicks, director of forensics at Boise State

The Boise State University Talkin’ Broncos continued their 2022-2023 conference season with a third-place win at the 92nd annual Mahaffey Memorial Tournament. The tournament, hosted by Linfield College in McMinville, Oregon, included competitors from Arizona State University, Georgia Tech, Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University, Texas A&M, Lewis & Clark College, University of Montana, UC-Santa Barbara, Idaho State University, Oregon State University and Willamette University. With forty-five schools in attendance, this was the largest Mahaffey in the tournament’s ninety-two-year history.

In Public Debate, open division competitor Kate Jacobson (senior, Boise) and junior division competitor Connor Allen (freshman, Meridian) both advanced through multiple single-elimination outrounds to finish as semi-finalists. Junior division competitor Allie Hampton (freshman, Meridian) advanced to quarter-finals and was recognized with the tournament championship speaker award. In open division, Dylan Pope (senior, Blackfoot), Israel Ceja (senior, Hailey), and Sara Beck (junior, Idaho Falls) finished as octo-finalists. In junior division, Ben Smoldon (junior, Boise), Kiryn Willett (freshman, Boise) and Anthony Thomas (freshman, Meridian) finished as octo-finalists.

In Individual Events, Hampton led the Talkin’ Broncos with first-place finishes in both junior extemporaneous speaking and prose interpretation, fourth-place in junior impromptu speaking, and fifth-place in informative speaking. Allen took first-place in novice impromptu speaking and first-place in junior persuasive speaking.

Other top competitors included: Willett, who took second-place in novice extemporaneous speaking; Pope, who took second-place in extemporaneous speaking and third-place in after dinner speaking; Beck, who took third-place in prose interpretation and fourth-place in persuasive speaking; Smoldon, who took third-place in junior informative speaking; Alison Hurst (junior, Boise), who took fifth-place in extemporaneous speaking; and Thomas, who took sixth-place in prose interpretation.

The Talkin’ Broncos continue their 2022-2023 season with their first national tournament, the Off Broadway Swing, hosted by Hofstra University in Long Island, New York. The Jeker Family Trust generously supports the Talkin’ Broncos in part. For more information about the Talkin’ Broncos, contact Manda Hicks, director of forensics at Boise State at