TCU Speech & Debate Finishes on a High Note

A group of college students dressed in suits hold up multiple trophies.

TCU Speech & Debate Team at the 2023 Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament.

TCU Speech and Debate finished their competition circuit this year at the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament at West Chester University in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The team placed sixth in the nation against 69 other universities and colleges competing, with over 100 entries per event.

Josue Cabrera placed second in Spanish Language Impromptu. Adrianna LeBlanc and Jackson Kaiser reached the semifinal round for their respective competitions. The complete list of accomplishments can be found below. Competitors in the individual event’s semi-finals are considered the top 12 speakers in the nation. In debate, the octofinal places the student in the top 16 and the semifinal in the top four debaters in the country.

“I am so proud of the team and of how they have performed this year. We are a young team — mostly freshmen and sophomores — but they are achieving the success of a much more senior squad,” said  Amorette Hinderaker, Ph.D., Convener of Debates and communication studies associate professor. “This was our first year of competition since the pandemic, which forced tournaments to cancel and move online. That meant the team was not only young, but starting without the guidance of experienced members. Still, this brand new team placed sixth in the nation at Pi Kappa Delta. We are looking forward to a fantastic 2023-2024 season with these talented students!”

TCU Speech and Debate returned to in-person competition this year—with an all-novice team, including students across the university. The team comprised of first-year students and sophomores who had never competed in speech events or in-person debates before at the college level. Yet, the students have competed at the highest level this year with a first-place win at the Texas Shuffle Swing Tournament and first place in all three team awards at the Oklahoma Intercollegiate Forensic Association Championship.

Headed by Dr. Hinderaker, the team competes throughout the year in public address, oral interpretation, limited preparation speaking, parliamentary debate and public debate. To learn more about TCU Speech and Debate and follow along with their travels, follow them on Facebook at TCU Forensics and Twitter @TCUSpeechDebate.

2023 Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament awards, winners and accomplishments:

Team Combined Speech & Debate Sweepstakes: Sixth Place

Josue Cabrera: Second Place, Spanish Language Impromptu

Arianna LeBlanc: Semi-finalist: Novice IPDA Debate

Jackson Kaiser: Semi-finalist, Editorial Impromptu; Excellent, Extemporaneous

Cadence Jones: Octofinalist, Varsity IPDA Debate

Chloe Matthews: Excellent, Interviewing

Ellie Griffin: Excellent, Impromptu