The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

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Simpson Speech & Debate leaves competitors speechless at Gorlok Gala

Photo submitted to The Simpsonian by Maddie Waddingham
Simpson’s Speech and Debate team poses proudly with the awards they received at the Gorlok Gala.

Simpson’s very own Speech and Debate team managed a win in every category at the Gorlock Gala, including taking the crown in all four sweepstakes (individual events sweepstakes, debate sweepstakes, top Pi Kappa Delta school, and overall sweepstakes). All this despite intense competition.

According to Simpson’s website, “The Gorlok Gala is one of the largest and longest-standing tournaments in the region, drawing competition from all across the country,” with this year’s competition spanning 30 universities and colleges. 

Senior Scott Krueger came away from the weekend with a multitude of honors, including co-champion in IPDA debate alongside Ryan Corcoran, fourth place in speaker overall, fourth in interviewing, and a semifinalist in extemporaneous speaking. 

Yes, I did have to google that word, so I’ll spare you the time and give the definition here: Extemporaneous is a limited preparation speech. Competitors are given 30 minutes to write an original, researched speech. 

“As a senior on the team, it means a lot to have ended up with these awards. I have been investing time, sweat, and energy into debate as an activity since I was a freshman in high school,” Krueger said. “Just like anything else someone has been doing for 8 years, when you get awards for your performance, it means all that work has finally paid off.”

Corcoran said of their victory, “Closing out finals in IPDA with Scott on the other side of the bracket was good momentum going into nationals, and good for me since I haven’t been able to debate for at least three tournaments.” 

He also added tournament champion in extemporaneous commentary, third place in duo interpretation alongside Andrew Samountry, and excellence in impromptu speaking to his resume. 

Fellow teammate Anja Waugh also had great success in this competition. She walked away with tournament champion in persuasive speaking, fourth place in extemporaneous speaking, fourth place in informative speaking, seventh place in broadcast journalism and she was a quarterfinalist in open IPDA. 

 “It was really exciting to see this much success at such a large tournament. The Gorlok is probably one of the more competitive tournaments we attend each year, and this success showcases the hard work of each member on the team,” Waugh said. 

For those unfamiliar with speech and debate, it’s very rare to experience a win in all four sweepstakes categories and place in every category as well. 

“This is fairly unique for Simpson’s Speech and Debate at the Gorlock tournament,” Krueger said. “The Gorlock is a significantly more challenging tournament that we attend, mostly because it has a wider pool of schools in the competition. In the face of higher competition, I’m really proud of our team for putting in the work necessary to come home with that victory in each category.”

Despite the rarity of this situation, first-year Maddie Waddingham said, “Our coaches are good at what they do. They make sure we are prepared for every competition. We usually have someone in the top 6 at the very least, if not claiming 1st place.” 

The team is now looking forward to the Pi Kappa Delta National tournament in March. 

“I am anticipating that we will face some of the toughest challenges in all categories – whether Speech or Debate – but there is a reason that Simpson College has won the national tournament year after year,” Krueger said. “We have a large, positive, and highly skilled group of people looking to improve in any way we can. I can’t wait for my last national tournament and I hope that holds true for every member of the team.”

With another year ahead in her speech and debate career, Waugh encouraged more people to join. “This activity has a place for everyone, and it fosters professionalism and personal growth. I couldn’t think of a better use of time.” 

Cocoran added, “There truly is a place for everyone on the team and you can commit as much or as little as you want. You get to travel across the Midwest and meet some of the best people at tournaments. Anyone can do speech and debate.”

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