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Boise State Speech and Debate Smashes National Tournament for Fourth Consecutive Championship

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- The Boise State University Talkin' Broncos speech and debate team won its fourth consecutive national championship. -  - ANDDE MENDEZ
  • Andde Mendez
  • The Boise State University Talkin' Broncos speech and debate team won its fourth consecutive national championship.
Boise State University has long had a strong speech and debate program, but at the 50th Biennial Pi Kappa Delta Speech and Debate National Tournament, the Talkin' Broncos won their fourth national championship in a row, showing they're more than good—they're dominant.

"We just tore it up from beginning to end," said Boise State Director of Forensics Manda Hicks, who leads the program. "The degree to which they absolutely crushed this tournament just makes it special."

The tournament, which took place March 21-25, brought students from 72 schools to the Boise State campus to participate in more than 20 speech and debate events.

Bronco teams won championships in public forum debate (Mackenzie Moss and Ryan Orlando), parliamentary debate (Orlando and Jamie Maas), extemporaneous speaking (Moss), persuasive speaking (Steve Silva) and broadcast journalism (Luke Yeates).

The Talkin' Broncos also fronted finalists, semi-finalists and quarter-finalists in numerous formats, including public debate and public forum debate. Catherine Floate, Moss and Yeates were also recognized as Pi Kappa Delta All-Americans. Only 10 students receive that recognition every two years.

"What's different about this win was the breadth and depth of it," Hicks said.

She attributes the win to holding students and teams to high standards, having access to university resources and a strong pool of talented student-competitors.

"We kind of have a special culture in our program," she said.