March was a month to remember for head coach Kiefer Storrer and KWU’s Debate and Forensics team. The squad competed in two states, traversed much of the Southeastern U.S. and competed in person for the second time this season, taking part in Pi Kappa Delta’s national championships (PKD, Orlando, Fla.) and the National Christian College Forensics Invitational (NCCFI, Lynchburg, Va.). The team’s response to its busy schedule? Winning nine national titles, all of the varsity variety, which sets a new school record.
“This has been a challenging month, but what a month it’s been for our program,” said Storrer. “For many of our debaters, this was their first in-person nationals, and our team truly rose to the occasion. With our nine titles and other honors, I believe this will be a season that our program will remember for many years to come.”
Abby Wray (Wichita, Kan.) and Elizabeth Schaefer (Lyons, Kan.) led the way for the Coyotes, winning three national titles apiece. Schaefer and Wray became the third and fourth individuals in program history – joining Megan (Kline) Yates ’19 and Dakota Yates ’18 – to win three or more varsity national titles in a single season.
Wray captured the national title in Interviewing and, alongside Savannah Bonilla (Salina, Kan.), Parliamentary Debate at Pi Kappa Delta’s national tournament. She went on to win Program of Oral Interpretation at the NCCFI tournament and was also named a Pi Kappa Delta All-American, an honor based on Debate success, academic honors, ethics and service. Wray is the third Coyote to receive PKD Varsity All-American laurels, joining Autumn Zimmerman ’19 (2019) and Meriah (Forbes) Moore ’11 (2011).
Schaefer, meanwhile, earned top honors at the PKD tournament in Dramatic Interpretation and Prose before winning Prose Interpretation at the NCCFI meet.
Bryce Boyd (Oklahoma City, Okla.) was KWU’s other standout, winning Extemporaneous Speaking at NCCFI for the fourth straight year. Boyd also won that event at PKD, giving him six varsity national titles for his career. That ties Dakota Yates for the most in program history.
Finally, the Coyotes were the top team in the middle division (based off number of entries) at NCCFI, adding one more national title to their resume, and Storrer was elected to PKD’s at-large council, where he will represent KWU in service to the organization.
A full capsule of KWU results appears below.
Pi Kappa Delta National Championships – Orlando, Fla. – Hosted by University of Central Florida
Wray and Bonilla: Parliamentary Debate National Champions
Wray: Top Superior Interviewing, 26th Extemporaneous Speaking, 34th Prose, Excellence in Broadcast Journalism
Boyd: Top Superior Extemporaneous Speaking, Showcase of Champions Performer, 24th Informative Speaking, Excellence in Individual Debate
Boyd and Madeline Norrell (Chandler, Okla.): 11th Duo Interpretation
Norrell: Fourth-place, junior varsity Individual Debate
Bonilla: 33rd Extemporaneous Speaking, Excellence in Broadcast Journalism
Schaefer: Top Superior Dramatic Interpretation, National Championship in Prose, Showcase Performer
KWU finished 16th overall in individual events, 13th in Debate and 13th in combined sweepstakes.
National Christian College Forensics Invitational – Lynchburg, Va. – Hosted by Liberty University
Boyd: Extemporaneous Speaking National Champion; Semifinalist, Parliamentary Debate
Boyd and Norrell: Fourth-place Duo
Wray: Program of Oral Interpretation National Champion; Semifinalist, Parliamentary Debate
Schaefer: Prose Interpretation National Champion; Fifth-place, Dramatic Interpretation
Wray and Schaefer: Third-place Duo
Norrell: Third-place, Faith Literature
Bonilla: Fifth-place, Parliamentary Speaker
KWU Debate and Forensics has now won 67 national titles, including both varsity and junior varsity/novice, since 2006.