Speech and Debate take home overall sweepstakes


Photo submitted by Mo Marks

Associate Director of Speech and Debate, Marisa Mayo, said some goals for the upcoming season include enjoying the things they love to do: speech and debate.

by Katie Burns, ID Magazine Editor-in-Chief

The Simpson College speech and debate team started their season with a bang, winning first in overall sweepstakes and individual events and placing second in debate team points at Southwest Baptist University.

Compared to the past, the speech and debate team has been known for its continued success on the debate side, but this year there has been a change of skills coming from underclassmen who joined the team for speech.

Director of Speech, Debate and Mock Trial, Spencer Waugh, explained that the team has been improving when it comes to speech.

“Our individual events and our speech team continue to be on the rise each year, and it keeps on getting better and better,” Waugh said. “They dominated this weekend in the limited prep events which are extemporaneous speaking and impromptu speaking.”

Senior Mo Marks had an extraordinary presence at the tournament placing champion in multiple categories; extemporaneous, impromptu, bright young scholar award and quadrathlon.

Marks explained that they were not able to cover each of the categories they were scheduled to do because they hit the event cap limit in the tournament. “So I was, you know, sulking being ‘Oh, I didn’t get to do all my events’ and then I was like, ‘Wait a second. I still did seven events.’ That’s still more than 90% of people do,” they said.

Sophomore Andrew Samountry’s presence at the tournament focused on speech, winning the tournament championship in prose and fifth place in dramatic interpretation.

Throughout the tournament, he explained that he did well for his first tournament of the year, but knows that there are some things he can improve on.

“Some things I felt that I could’ve improved on are definitely my interviewing skills,” Samountry said. ”I never competed in that event before, but it’s really good practice for a real-life work environment, so working on how I carry myself during interviews, word choice, etc are some things to improve upon.”

Coming from Arkansas, Samountry got the opportunity to come to visit the Des Moines area and was lucky enough to meet his new home for college.

“It ended up being a really great trip and after visiting Simpson, and hearing about all the great benefits, student life, and the speech team, I really wanted to come here,” he said. “It was a last-minute decision, about two weeks before move-in day, and I confirmed my commitment to Simpson.”

Associate Director of Speech and Debate, Marisa Mayo, said some goals for the upcoming season include enjoying the things they love to do: speech and debate.

“The goal for the season is for students to share their voices and to improve as speakers in the process,” Mayo said. “We really want students to enjoy their time competing for Simpson and engaging in meaningful conversations.”

Mayo also said that she is looking forward to seeing students grow and boost their confidence throughout the season.

“As we go further in our season, I am so excited to see the growth of each student,” Mayo said. “It is so incredible to see students grow in their skill, but also their confidence as communicators.”

The team will be traveling back to Missouri for its 3rd competition of the season hoping to pick up another win to keep the streak alive.


Simpson College: 

First in Overall Team Points

First Place in Individual Event Team Points

Second Place in Debate Team Points

Top Pi Kappa Delta Chapter

Mo Marks: 

Tournament Champion in Extemporaneous Speaking

Tournament Champion in Impromptu Speaking

Tournament Champion Bright Young Scholar Award

Tournament Champion in Quadrathon

Second Place in Communication Analysis

Second Place in Duo Interpretation with Dorian Burke

Third Place in Informative Speaking

Third Place in Persuasive Speaking

Quarterfinalist in IPDA Debate

Tempest Allred: 

Third Place in Communication Analysis

Abby Fry: 

Second Place in Informative Speaking

Third in Extemporaneous Speaking

Fifth Place in Impromptu Speaking

Quarterfinalist in IPDA

Ryan Corcoran: 

Second Place in After Dinner Speaking

Second Place in Impromptu Speaking

Second Bright Young Scholar Award

Third Place in Dramatic Interpretation

Third Place in Quadrathon

Sixth Place in Extemporaneous Speaking

Quarterfinalist in IPDA Debate

Dorian Burke:

Second Place in Duo Interpretation with Mo Marks

Second Place in Novice Impromptu Speaking

Second Place in Dramatic Interpretation

Ryan Magalhaes:

Third Place in Impromptu Speaking

Fourth Place in Extemporaneous Speaking

Fourth Place in Dramatic Interpretation

Chloe Sutija:

Seventh Place in Novice Impromptu Speaking

Ariel Clark: 

Fifth Place in Novice Impromptu Speaking

Sydni Powell: 

Fourth Place in Novice Impromptu Speaking

Quarterfinalist in Novice IPDA Debate

Jadyn Mortensen: 

Quarterfinalist in IPDA Debate

Andrew Samountry: 

Tournament Champion in Prose Interpretation

Fifth Place in Dramatic Interpretation