Truman speech and debate at national tournament

Trophies from years past line the walls of Truman Forensic Union’s conference room in Barnett Hall. Truman Forensic Union will compete in the national tournament starting today. (Photo credit: Brenna Karoly)

The debate and forensics teams left Tuesday to compete at the 2018 National Championship Tournament in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

The national tournament begins today and will wrap up Monday. Forensics Director Chris Outzen said in the past, the debate team has competed well at nationals, but this school year has been strong for the speech team as well. Outzen said he hopes the teams will place in the top 5 again this year.

“I think it’s safe to say I feel good about what we are putting out this year on all of our stuff,” Outzen said. “There’s nothing that I see as a weak point at this moment.”

Since August, the debate and forensics teams have been putting in an average of four to 10 hours per week preparing for tournaments, Outzen said. The teams traveled to 10 tournaments, won three tournaments and the debate team received the title of Missouri Debate Champions for the second year in a row.

Outzen said since he arrived in 2014, the speech team has had greater success, and this year alone the award count is up by 40 percent.