Debate/Forensics Team Returns Victorious from State Collegiate Championship Tournament

Release Date: 
February 23, 2010

Sterling College's debate and forensics team can proudly boast more state champions than any other school in the state, says Coach Ken Troyer. The team returned from the Kansas Individual Events and Parliamentary Championship, held at Barton County Community College in Great Bend, with state championships in varsity debate, novice division debate, impromptu speaking and persuasive speaking.

The pair of sophomore Ryan Corwin of Sterling and first-year student Alex Lawhon-Bush of Newton, Kan., was named state champions in the varsity debate division, while two other Sterling College pairs tied for third place: juniors Courtney Hensley of Lyons and Jason Phillips of Fort Scott; and sophomores Nolan Chaney of South Hutchinson and Jessica Brayton of Lyons. SC also captured four of the top five speaker awards: Lawhon-Bush, first; Phillips, second; Corwin, third; and junior Emily Graham of Hutchinson, fifth.

In the novice debate division, senior Fay Carey and sophomore Melzora Towne, both of Sterling, won, and Towne was named first speaker and Carey, second.

Jessica Brayton was also named a state champion in the individual event of impromptu speaking, as was Alex Lawhon-Bush in persuasive speaking. Brayton also competed in persuasive speaking and finished sixth. There were several other top-ten finishes. Brayton placed second and Lawhon-Bush placed sixth in extemporaneous speaking. Towne finished sixth in prose interpretation and third in program of oral interpretation, and two first-year students from Lyons, Vance Stegman and Kelly Johnson, also placed in the top ten: Stegman, second in after dinner speaking; and Johnson, fourth in informative speaking. Junior David Bowers of Buhler and first-year student Kaitie Turner of Washington, Kan., also competed for the SC team.

The Sterling College team will compete next in the AFAciation District Tournament held at the University of Oklahoma on March 5 and 6.