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Midland University Speech & Debate Team Earns Another State Title


Midland University’s speech & debate squad successfully defended its Division III state championship during the Nebraska Intercollegiate Forensics Association State Tournament on February 10th at Doane University in Crete.

Teams from across Nebraska, both larger and smaller universities, compete in the event. Teams are then broken down into divisions, with Midland prevailing over schools of similar size in Division III.

“It’s fun to compete against the bigger schools, but it’s nice the state breaks it down into divisions so the smaller teams can get some recognition,” said Adam Knowlton, Professor of Communications, Director of Forensics. “It’s always fun to watch these students compete, and it’s refreshing to see the passion they bring to the events. They are amazing to be around.”

Students compete in 11 different categories. Kari Van Nostrand and Eddie Schweikert were the top performers for Midland, placing seventh in Duo Interpretation.

It’s been an impressive performance over the past two seasons for the team, which included a 17th-place finish at the 2023 national competition. “We are incredibly lucky to have some wonderful seniors that have been leading the way for us,” Knowlton said. “The Nebraska community is great, and all the competitors get along very well. We were very proud to have Eddie named as a finalist for the Spirit of NIFA Award, which goes to an individual who is an overall positive contributor to the event.”

Team members are Schweikert, Van Nostrand, Mica Rigotti, Kiera Gregg, Alex Wight, Sarah Murray, Sydnee Wenninghoff, Jenna Pool, and Mika Dooley.

The team will head to the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament and Convention March 7-11 in Glendale, Arizona.

“The state meet is a great way for us to sharpen our skills as we had to nationals,” Knowlton said. “We’re excited, and we are shooting for a top 15 finish.”

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