The Pi Kappa Delta National Championship Boise State Speech and Debate team started their 2021 national season with the overall tournament win at the 23rd Annual Gorlok Gala at Webster University in St. Louis. The tournament, hosted remotely January 29– 31, included 65 schools from 22 states including Penn State, Texas State University, Minnesota State University – Mankato, University of Illinois at Chicago, Tennessee State University, University of Kentucky, and University of Nebraska – Lincoln.
“Online competition turned this into the largest Gorlok Gala in the tournament’s history” said Manda Hicks, director of forensics. “In 23 years, this is the third time Boise State has won the Gorlok – winning the biggest Gorlok on record is quite an accomplishment and gives the team a very clear vision of what they are capable of at the national level.”
In International Public Debate, Boise State advanced five competitors to elimination rounds, with Julia Maas (junior, Meridian) taking second-place overall and receiving the third-place speaker award in open division. Alison Hurst (freshman, Boise) finished as a semi-finalist and received the second-place speaker award in novice division. Zac Maggard (senior, Nampa) and
Brian Del Toro (junior, Boise) both finished as quarter-finalists in open division, with Maggard winning the seventh-place speaker award and Del Toro winning the third-place speaker award. Madison Martin (sophomore, Oceanside, California) and Sara Beck (freshman, Idaho Falls) both finished as quarter-finalists in junior division, with Martin winning the sixth-place speaker award and Beck winning the third-place speaker award.
In Public Forum Debate, Boise State advanced five teams to elimination rounds, with the team of Kevin Trombly (senior, Boise) and Sergio Sarmiento (junior, Nampa) finishing in second-place overall on a 1-2 decision. Both the team of Izzy Ceja and Josh Young (junior, Meridian) and the team of Bryce Funkhauser (senior, Meridian) and Maggard finished as semi-finalists, while the team of Alex Watt (Boise) and Del Toro and the team of Kate Jacobson (freshman, Boise) and Ethane Ricks (freshman, Idaho Falls) finished as quarter-finalists. Public forum speaker awards went to Hurst in tenth-place, Maggard in eighth-place, Sarmiento in seventh-place, Young in sixth-place, Martin in fourth-place, and Trombly in second-place.
In Individual Speech Events, Edson Valdisimo (junior, Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) led the Talkin’ Broncos with first-place in poetry interpretation, a quarter-finalist award in impromptu speaking, and recognition of excellence in program oral interpretation. Sarmiento took fifth-place in both after dinner speaking and communication analysis, recognition of excellence in prose interpretation, and won second-place overall in pentathalon – an award that recognizes the top speech competitors from over 400 entries at the tournament. Trombly was a semi-finalist in extemporaneous speaking, a quarterfinalist in impromptu speaking, and finished third-place overall in pentathalon. Funkhauser took fifth-place in improvisational pairs, received recognition of excellence in poetry interpretation, and finished fifth-place overall in pentathalon.
Other top competitors included: Alma Ceja (junior, Hailey), who took third-place in improvisational pairs and was a semi-finalist in prose interpretation; Gabe Guerrero (junior, Shelley), who took sixth-place in communication analysis; Del Toro, who was a quarter-finalist in impromptu speaking, a semi-finalist in extemporaneous speaking, and received recognition of excellence in persuasive speaking; Watt, who received fifth-place in improvisational pairs and was a quarter-finalist in impromptu speaking; Dylan Pope (sophomore, Blackfoot), who took second-place in improvisational pairs and received recognition of excellence in extemporaneous speaking; Maas, who took third-place in improvisational pairs an received recognition of excellence in persuasive speaking; Maggard, who was a quarter-finalist in impromptu speaking and received recognition of excellence in extemporaneous speaking; Ricks, who took second-place in improvisational pairs; Beck and Martin, who took sixth-place in improvisational pairs; Brie Ellison (junior, Eagle), who was a quarter-finalist in impromptu speaking; Jacobson, who was recognized as the top novice in informative speaking; and Young, who received recognition of excellence in prose interpretation.
The Talkin’ Broncos continue their 2020-2021 season with their second national tournament, the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament, hosted by Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. 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 Manda Hicks, director of forensics at Boise State at email@example.com.