UK Speech and Debate Places Second at State Tournament

Photo of UK Speech and Debate Team
Students from UK won four of the championship titles across these events, setting a new team record for best performance.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 13, 2017) For the third year in a row, the University of Kentucky Speech and Debate Team has placed second at the Kentucky Forensic Association State Championship Speech and Debate Tournament. This competition tests students in 13 public speaking events and two forms of debate. Students from UK won four of the championship titles across these events, setting a new team record for best performance.

This year, 10 teams from across the Commonwealth met at Owensboro Community and Technical College to compete for the state championship in speech and debate including Western Kentucky University, the current national champions. At this tough competition, the team from UK placed second in the grand champions sweepstakes division, second in the public speaking sweepstakes division for large schools, second in the parliamentary debate sweepstakes division for large schools, and second in the public debate sweepstakes competition for large schools.

“I’m so proud of all of these students,” said Director of Speech and Debate Timothy Bill. “Each year, they keep getting better and better. I’m continually moved by the passion and dedication they show for their speeches and the issues for which they’re advocating.”

In addition to the team sweepstakes awards, five individuals placed in the individual sweepstakes competition, which combines scores from all of a competitors public speaking events. Junior Rachel Brase placed third, sophomore Matt Karijolic placed fourth, sophomore Veronica Scott placed fifth, junior Kaylon Kennedy placed sixth, and freshman Laura McAllister was awarded top novice. Brase was also elected the student president of the Kentucky Forensic Association. Team members earned another six qualifications for the National Forensic Association national tournament and Scott earned a qualification to the Interstate Oratorical Association nationals.

The full list of awards earned by UK competitors is available 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. To foster these skills, the team takes part in competitions throughout the southeast region of the United States.

UK Speech and Debate is a student organization in the School of Information Science in the College of Communication and Information. The team regularly competes in 12 public speaking events and three forms of debate. To find out more, please visit the team’s website

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue