Webster University’s Forensics and Debate Team takes home multiple awards


Webster University’s Forensics and Debate team brought back four state championships, 26 awards and third place overall in the Individual Events sweepstakes at the Missouri State Tournament on Feb. 16.

John Wallis, Webster junior, competed and won a state championship in impromptu speaking. He was also awarded second place in extemporaneous speaking, a style in which you persuade or inform the audience that allows both research and opinion.

Wallis also took home third place in original oratory and fifth place in the pentathlon. Pentathlons require students to be in five events over multiple different categories.

Over the past year, the team has won 160 awards before attending this competition.

“Winning a state title is not an easy feat, but members of our team walked away with multiple,” Wallis said. “This team has continued to amaze me at every single tournament this year.”

Freshman Sarah Hammeke also secured a spot at the Interstate Oratory Tournament. Only two people are selected for this championship. The Interstate Oratory Tournament is the oldest forensic tournament in the nation.

Now, four members of the team will prepare for the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament. Juliana Ness, Laurel Kratz, Wallis and Hammeke will be representing Webster at the event.

“This team is a family, and we stick together through everything,” Wallis said. “We may be small, but we showed the competition that we are a strong team with phenomenal speakers.”

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