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Talkin’ Broncos top strong national field to win conference opener

The 2022-2023 Talkin' Broncos Speech and Debate Team from Boise State standing in the amphitheater.

The Boise State University Talkin’ Broncos started the 2022-2023 conference season with their twelfth-consecutive Steve Hunt Classic tournament championship. The tournament, hosted by Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, included competitors from 30 school in 11 states.

In public debate, open division competitor Dylan Pope (senior, Blackfoot) and junior division competitor Ben Smoldon (senior, Nampa) advanced through the bracket and finished in second-place overall. Pope achieved the fourth-place speaker award and Smoldon received the fifth-place speaker award.

Kate Jacobson (senior, Boise) finished as a quarter-finalist in open division. Sara Beck (junior, Idaho Falls) finished as an octo-finalist and received the seventh-place speaker award in open division. Allie Hampton (freshman, Meridian) finished as an octo-finalist in junior division. Alison Hurst (junior, Boise) received the eighth-place speaker award in open division. Kiryn Willett (freshman, Boise) received the third-place speaker award in junior division.

In individual events, Hampton led the Talkin’ Broncos with first-place finishes in both junior division informative speaking and prose interpretation, and third-place in junior division extemporaneous speaking. Willett took first-place in novice division extemporaneous speaking, third-place in junior division prose, and fourth-place in novice impromptu speaking. Jacobson took first-place in informative speaking and fourth-place in dramatic interpretation.

Other top competitors included: Pope, who took second-place in duo interpretation and third-place in extemporaneous speaking; Smoldon, who took second-place in duo interpretation and fourth-place in junior extemporaneous speaking; Brie Ellison (senior, Eagle), who took third-place in program oral interpretation; Israel Ceja (senior, Hailey), who took third-place in impromptu speaking; Beck, who took fifth-place in extemporaneous speaking; and Hurst, who took sixth-place in impromptu speaking.

The Talkin’ Broncos continue their 2022-2023 season with their second conference tournament, the Mahaffey Memorial, hosted by Linfield College in McMinville, Oregon.

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