MURRAY, Ky. — The Speech and Debate Union (SDU) Travel Team at Murray State University competed and earned several awards at three national qualifying regional tournaments in October and November, with over a dozen different colleges and universities in attendance at each.

The team received the following overall awards:

  • First place debate team at the Team International Parliamentary Debate Association (TIPDA) competition held online
  • First place at the University Debate Team Sweepstakes in Owensboro, Kentucky
  • First place Novice National Parliamentary Debate Association Team (NPDA) at a national qualifier event held at Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee 

Team members took home the following awards:

  • Eli Fenwick of Evansville, Indiana (first place in radio broadcasting)
  • Garrett Kieser of Locust Hill, Kentucky (first place IPDA debate champion and first place IPDA debate speaker)
  • Ashlen Grubbs of Hodgenville, Kentucky (first place in poetry, third place in prose and top novice in poetry and prose interpretations)
  • Jillian Owen of Clarksville, Tennessee (top novice in impromptu speaking, fourth place in IPDA debate, fourth place novice debate speaker)
  • Emily Caitlan Short of Greenville, Kentucky (first place in impromptu speaking, fourth place in informative speaking)
  • Ana Moyers of Radcliffe, Kentucky (fifth place in informative speaking, top novice in communication analysis speaking)
  • Christian Jones of Paducah, Kentucky (top novice for informative speaking, second, third and fourth place  for informative speaking)
  • Joshua Sanders of San Antonio, Texas (first place in varsity extemporaneous speaking, second place in varsity IPDA debate and second place varsity debate speaker)
  • Ciara Benham of Brandenburg, Kentucky (first and fifth place for public narrative and top novice in public narrative)
  • Callie Anderson of Richmond, Kentucky (top novice in dramatic interpretation, second and sixth place in dramatic interpretation)
  • Victoria Lindsey of Hardinsburg, Kentucky (third place varsity debate speaker)
  • Rachel Fischer of Hopkinsville, Kentucky (third place in impromptu speaking, third place in storytelling)

Additional team awards included:

  • Victoria Lindsey and Joshua Sanders (first place TIPDA debate team)
  • Jillian Owen and Garrett Kieser (first place novice NPDA debate team)
  • Kyle Heideman of Louisville, Kentucky, and Joshua Sanders (second place varsity NPDA debate team)
  • Christopher Stewart II of Eddyville, Kentucky, and Brennan Hughes of Russellville, Kentucky (third place varsity NPDA debate team)
  • Callie Anderson and Rachel Fischer (third place in dramatic duo)

“Any first place win is significant,” said Dr. Crystal Coel, director of the Speech and Debate Union, head of Elizabeth College and faculty member in the Department of Organizational Communication. “I give credit to God for linking me with amazing talent that I get to help develop. We are one team… one core.”

Students represented the following residential colleges at Murray State:

The Speech and Debate Union (SDU) Travel Team at Murray State University competed and earned several awards at three national qualifying regional tournaments in October and November, with over a dozen different colleges and universities in attendance at each. Pictured are team members at a national qualifying tournament held at Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee.
  • Richmond College (Victoria Lindsey and Kyle Heideman)
  • Elizabeth College (Joshua Sanders)
  • Springer-Franklin College (Jillian Owen, Brennan Hughes, Callie Anderson, Ashlen Grubbs, Ana Moyers and Ciara Benham)
  • Hart College (Christopher Stewart II and Garrett Keiser)
  • Regents College (Emily Caitlan Short, Rachel Fischer and Christian Jones)
  • Hester College (Eli Fenwick)

Coel thanked former graduate student and debate coach Ryan Goke, current graduate student speech coach Sydney Hayden, visiting coach D’Mitri Brenzo, team president Christopher Stewart II, outgoing first vice president Michaela Molnar (dramatic interpretation), and head coaches first vice president Rachel Fischer (limited preparation speaking) and Joshua Sanders (debate), as well as second vice president Brennan Hughes, secretary Victoria Lindsey and Shirley Ransdell, who coached the team at various events.

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