If there’s one thing the UNL Speech and Debate team finds more exciting than standing in front of large groups of people and talking, it’s winning the Big Ten Championship – twice. October 13-14, the team competed at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., where they won their second consecutive conference title. The Huskers led the tournament with a two-day total of 190 points, ahead of second-place University of Illinois with 56 points. Points are awarded to speakers who medal in events.
Aside from the team’s success, several members won conference titles themselves. Seniors Lauren Schaal and Marc Otero, juniors Amanda Stoffel, Josh Planos, and Grace Kluck, and sophomores Reece Ristau and Josiah BeDunnah all medaled in their individual speaking events. BeDunnah and junior Roger Allen also placed in duo interpretation and sophomore Jeff Garst finished in second in the Lincoln-Douglas debate.
Freshman Taylor Brown tells what it was like becoming a part of such a team. “It was very intimidating coming in as a freshman knowing that Nebraska had won a conference championship. I was so nervous because everyone on the team is amazing when they perform. There’s some pressure knowing that you’re on a successful forensics team but it only gives me more incentive to work harder and to be as successful as those who came before me.”
Brown and other forensics members assure that the future is bright for the UNL Speech and Debate team. “So bright I can’t even open my eyes,” Brown jokes. Who knows, maybe this time next year the UNL community will be hearing about a well-deserved three-peat conference championship.