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Sterling College Debate/Forensics fares well at Nationals
These four students recently competed at the nationals debate/forensics tournament held near Philadelphia. From left: Cody Brooks, Sterling; Kassidy Brodbeck, Lubbock, Texas; Aubrie Powell, Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Miquala Purscell, Hoisington. They are coached by Ken Troyer.

STERLING — While many college students use spring break to head to an exotic destination or simply to catch up on sleep, the Sterling College Debate & Forensics team headed to Pennsylvania to compete in the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament which was March 14-19.

The team, coached by Ken Troyer, communications professor at Sterling College, competed at West Chester University, near Philadelphia for the national tournament. Pi Kappa Delta, the sponsor of the national tournament, is a Forensics (Public Speaking and Debate) Honor Society for undergraduate students. 

Building on their success throughout the year, the Sterling College team once again brought home several accolades.

Sophomore Cody Brooks, Sterling, the defending national champion in novice International Public Debate Association (IPDA) debate, moved into the junior varsity division this year, finishing in 5th place overall with a 5-2 record, eventually losing to a rival from Butler University.

Additionally, sophomore Miquala Purscell, Hoisington, was recognized as being an outstanding competitor in Extemporaneous Speaking and was given the award of excellence. Senior Kassidy Brodbeck from Lubbock, Texas, and sophomore Aubrie Powell from Colorado Springs, Colo., also competed and contributed to the team’s overall sweepstakes total which allowed the team to finish 36th overall, despite having one of the smallest entries (only four competitors).

Coach Ken Troyer was particularly pleased with the accolades received, stating that “it was a tough year with limited resources and scheduling difficulties forcing us to do a lot of online competition, but the students rose to the challenge and adapted well to the in-person competition at the tournament.”

The team will next compete at the Interstate Oratorical Association tournament at the University of Texas at Austin in late April.