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Talkin’ Broncos beat 70 schools from 26 states to win conference opener

team photo

The Pi Kappa Delta National Championship Boise State Speech and Debate team started their 2020-2021 conference season with their 10th consecutive Steve Hunt Classic tournament championship. The tournament, hosted remotely by Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, Oct. 9-11, included competitors from Vanderbilt University, Penn State, Berkeley, San Francisco State, Texas A & M, Gonzaga University, Rice University and UCLA.

“Online competition changed this large regional conference tournament into a massive national tournament,” said Manda Hicks, director of forensics. “That our students could hold their own with competitors from every region of the country and emerge victorious shows how extraordinary this team is. It takes an awesome amount of effort and an amazing level of talent to have a win like this.”

In Open Public Debate, Boise State closed out the bracket with semi-final wins from both Bryce Funkhauser (senior, Meridian) and Zac Maggard (senior, Nampa), making them the shared tournament champions. Maggard was recognized with the second-place speaker award and Funkhauser was recognized with the fourth-place speaker award. Kevin Trombly (senior, Boise) and Brian Del Toro (junior, Boise) both finished as octo-finalists, with Trombly winning the fifth-place speaker award.

In Junior Public Debate, Dylan Pope (sophomore, Blackfoot) finished as a semi-finalist and won the tournament’s first-place speaker award. Madison Martin (sophomore, Oceanside, CA) finished as a quarter-finalist and won the seventh-place speaker award. Brie Ellison (junior, Eagle), Kate Jacobson (freshman, Boise) and Ethane Ricks (freshman, Idaho Falls) finished as octo-finalists, with Jacobson winning the fifth-place speaker award. In Novice Public Debate, Alison Hurst (freshman, Boise) finished as an octo-finalist.

In Individual Events, Trombly led the Talkin’ Broncos with first-place finishes in both extemporaneous speaking and impromptu speaking, and third-place wins in both program oral interpretation and editorial commentary. Alma Ceja (junior, Hailey), took first place in poetry interpretation, second-place in program oral interpretation, and third-place in duo interpretation. Funkhauser took second-place in both after-dinner speaking and impromptu speaking, third-place in communication analysis, and fourth-place in extemporaneous speaking. Trombly, Funkhauser, and Ceja were recognized as the top three individual event competitors out of the 350 entries at the tournament. Alex Watt (senior, Boise) took first-place in duo interpretation, second-place in editorial commentary, and fourth-place in prose interpretation. Edson Valdisimo (sophomore, Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) took first-place in poetry interpretation, second-place in junior program oral interpretation, fourth-place in junior impromptu speaking, and first-place in junior dramatic interpretation. Josh Young (junior, Meridian) took first-place in duo interpretation and second-place in editorial commentary. Pope took first place in junior communication analysis and second-place in junior extemporaneous speaking. Hurst took first-place in novice impromptu and third-place in novice editorial commentary. Emma James (junior, Eagle) took first place in novice editorial commentary.

Other top competitors included: Del Toro, who took second-place in both extemporaneous speaking and persuasive speaking, and third-place in informative speaking; Jacobson, who took second-place in junior prose interpretation and third-place in junior informative; Martin, who took third-place in both duo interpretation and junior editorial commentary, and fifth-place in junior prose interpretation; Sara Beck (freshman, Idaho Falls), who took third-place in junior impromptu and fifth-place in junior extemporaneous speaking; Israel Ceja (junior, Hailey), who took third-place in novice prose and sixth-place in junior persuasive speaking; Ricks, who took third-place in junior program oral interpretation; and Sergio Sarmiento (junior, Nampa), who took fourth-place in after dinner speaking.

The Talkin’ Broncos continue their 2020-2021 season with their second conference tournament, the Mahaffey Memorial, hosted by Linfield College in McMinville, Oregon. The Talkin’ Broncos are the 2019-2020 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: