Talkin’ Broncos win ninth consecutive Mahaffey Memorial Tournament Championship

Talkin' Broncos team photo
Talkin’ Broncos debate team group photo, Allison Corona photo.

The Pi Kappa Delta National Championship Boise State Speech and Debate team won first place in Overall Sweepstakes at the 89th annual Mahaffey Memorial Speech and Debate Tournament hosted by Linfield College Nov. 8-10 in McMinville, Oregon. This win marks the Talkin’ Broncos’ ninth consecutive championship at one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious tournaments. The tournament had nearly 600 entries, including students from Lewis and Clark College, Carroll College, Weber State, Oregon State University, Willamette University, Whitworth University, Utah State University, University of Idaho, Idaho State University and College of Idaho.

“The Mahaffey is the most competitive individual event tournament in the Northwest Forensics Conference,” said Manda Hicks, director of forensics. “For a student to make it into a final round is a noteworthy achievement on its own, so winning the tournament is quite an accomplishment for this young team. They are truly honored.”

In Open Public Debate, Connor Johnson (senior, Billings, Montana) won an unprecedented fourth-consecutive Mahaffey Memorial Tournament Championship with a 3-0 decision in the final round against Whitworth University, and also received the first-place speaker award. Tate Volbrecht (senior, Billings, Montana) and Zach Hill (senior, Kuna) both were semi-finalists, with Hill winning the third-place speaker award and Volbrecht winning the fifth-place speaker award. Kevin Trombly (junior, Boise) finished as a quarter-finalist and received the seventh-place speaker award. Bryce Funkhauser (junior, Meridian), received the second-place speaker award and Alex Watt (junior, Boise) received the eighth-place speaker award.

In Junior Public Debate, Dylan Pope (freshman, Blackfoot) finished as a quarter-finalist and received the sixth-place speaker award. In Novice Public Debate, Justin Lindsay (freshman, Ridgefield, Washington) advanced through three outrounds of single-elimination debate and finished as the tournament first-runner up. Lindsay received the tenth-place speaker award. Madison Martin (freshman, Oceanside, California) finished as a quarter-finalist and received the first-place speaker award.

In Individual Events, Izanna Stoddard (senior, Boise) led the Talkin’ Broncos with the first-place win in informative speaking, second place in communication analysis, and third place in persuasive speaking. Alma Ceja (junior, Hailey) took first place in junior program oral interpretation and third place in both duo interpretation and poetry interpretation. Ceja was recognized as the tournament’s top competitor in junior poetry and second-best junior competitor overall. Brian Del Toro (sophomore, Boise) took first place in junior impromptu speaking and fourth place in extemporaneous speaking. Lindsay was recognized as the tournament’s top competitor in novice dramatic interpretation and took fifth place in open dramatic interpretation. Cora Knueven (freshman, Meridian), was recognized as the tournament’s top competitor in junior prose and took sixth place in open prose interpretation.

Other top competitors included: Volbrecht, who took second place in extemporaneous speaking, and fourth place in both persuasive speaking and impromptu speaking; Funkhauser, who took third place in both program oral interpretation and communication analysis, and fourth place in extemporaneous speaking; Hill, who took third place in extemporaneous speaking and fifth place in persuasive speaking; Trombly, who took third place in impromptu speaking and sixth place in dramatic interpretation; Watt, who took third place in after dinner speaking; Martin, who took third place in duo interpretation; Sergio Sarmiento (sophomore, Nampa), who took third place in junior program oral interpretation; Pope, who took third place in junior extemporaneous speaking; Ximena Bustillo (senior, Nampa), who took fourth place in after dinner speaking and fifth place in both program oral interpretation and impromptu speaking; Edson Valdisimo (sophomore, Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands), who took fourth place in junior program oral interpretation and fifth place in novice prose interpretation; Julia Maas (sophomore, Meridian), who took fourth place in junior impromptu speaking; Kaelee Novich (senior, Nampa), who took fifth place in poetry interpretation; and Ethan Romriell (sophomore, Pocatello), who took fifth place in junior program oral interpretation.

The Talkin’ Broncos finish their 2019-20 conference season with the Scheller Invitational, hosted by Pacific University Jan. 23 in Portland, Oregon. The Talkin’ Broncos are the 2019-20 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 mandahicks@boisestate.edu.