Marshall Hosting National NFA Tournament in April, Debate Team Places 7th in Nation

Updated 6 years ago Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - For the first time since 1991, Marshall University's speech and debate team received team sweepstakes awards at a national tournament last weekend at Webster University in St. Louis.

Marshall received three team sweepstakes awards and two individual national championships to help it place seventh among 86 teams in the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament. Marshall Coach Danny Ray labeled his team's performance as "tremendous."

"All of the hard work is starting to pay off," Ray said. "And none of them graduate this year, they'll all be back."

Team sweepstakes awards are determined by point totals in the speech category, the debate category and the combination of speech and debate categories.

Marshall's Taryss Mandt, a freshman University College major from Arlington, Va., was the top superior in Informative Speaking. Matt Osteen, a sophomore pre-med chemistry major honors college student from Harpers Ferry, W.Va., was the national champion in International Public Debate.

Marshall was one of seven schools awarded a superior rating in individual events. It also placed ninth in combined sweepstakes and 15th in debate sweepstakes.

Individually for Marshall:

  • Mandt received awards of excellence in After-Dinner Speaking and Programmed Oral Interpretation.
  • Osteen received an award of excellence in International Public Debate Association (IPDA) debate.
  • Victoria Ledford, a sophomore pre-med honors chemistry major from Burnsville, W.Va., received a superior rating in Persuasive Speaking and received awards of excellence in Informative, Impromptu and Rhetorical Criticism.
  • Christian Adams, a junior pre-med honors psychology major from Culloden, W.Va., received awards of excellence in After-Dinner Speaking, Poetry and Dramatic Duo with Marji McCoy, a sophomore pre-med honors biology major from Beckley, W.Va.
  • McCoy received a top presiding officer in Legislative Debate.
  • Josh Gainer, a junior political science major from Parkersburg, W.Va., received a superior rating in Prose Interpretation. He also won the top legislative debater award and a top presiding officer award in Legislative Debate. He received awards of excellence in Dramatic Interpretation and Poetry.
  • Garrett Walker, a sophomore pre-med sociology/anthropology and Spanish double-major from Shady Spring, W.Va., received a superior rating in Rhetorical Criticism and an award of excellence in Extemporaneous Speaking.
  • Erin Jorden, a freshman from Wheeling, W.Va., received awards of excellence in Prose and Poetry Interpretation.
Marshall hosts the NFA National Tournament April 18-22.
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