UK Speech and Debate Places 8th in the Nation

Photo of UK Speech and Debate Team posing with trophies.
Members of the UK Speech and Debate Team after placing eighth at the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 30, 2018) The University of Kentucky Speech and Debate Team placed eighth in the nation at the largest collegiate speech and debate competition in the country, the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament. This placing extends the teams history of ranking in the top 10 at this national competition to its fourth continuous year and represents a new best placing for the university.

This year’s tournament was hosted by Tennessee State University and had 82 colleges and universities in attendance for the four-day competition. Together, these schools entered more than 2,000 speeches and debate teams, which if spoken end-to-end, would last for nearly 58 days of continuous advocacy. In addition to placing eighth in combined team sweepstakes, the team from UK also placed fourth in debate sweepstakes and 10th in the sweepstakes category for speech events.

“This tournament certainly represents a high point for our team,” Director Timothy Bill said. “The students spend months working for this moment. Placing eighth overall against the best teams in the nation shows just how talented and capable the students from UK are.”

Bill went on to note that “this placing is also a result of alumni support. Our three judges were incredible in helping us throughout the week. We couldn’t have done it without them.”

In addition to the team placings, senior Matt Karijolic became the second person in team history to be crowned a national champion at this tournament by winning extemporaneous commentary. Senior Rachel Brase was the top speaker in the varsity division of parliamentary debate and also placed fourth in slam poetry. Sophomore Laura McAllister was the fourth place speaker in the junior varsity division of parliamentary debate.

View the full list of awards won by UK students at the tournament here.

The UK Speech and Debate Team is committed to training the next generation of civic leaders who are passionate about effecting change in their communities. The team’s final competition of the season will be the National Forensic Association National Tournament held April 19-23, at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. UK Speech and Debate is a student organization in the School of Information Science in the College of Communication and Information. To find out more, please visit the team’s website