Awards

Forensics Program
Office: Kagin 123
Dick Lesicko, Director of Forensics
651-696-6715

NATIONAL AWARDS

Even a cursory reading of the program’s national highlights reveals a central truth about Macalester’s success over the years. Quite clearly, gender equity was a feature of the program long before that term was ever coined. Many of Mac’s most successful moments can be traced directly to the bright and talented women who have competed for the College.

In the past week Macalester has received an honor that exceeds even the laurel crowns of old. Enrique Sobrepena, our fellow student from the distant Philippines, by taking fourth place in the national oratorical contest of Pi Kappa Delta, has brought a real distinction to Macalester.

--Mac Weekly, April 7, 1992

1924

William E. Clark wins the men’s extemporaneous speaking championship at the Pi Kappa Delta national tournament.

1926

Marion Dailey wins first place in the women's extemporaneous speaking contest at the Pi Kappa Delta convention. Third place in men’s extemp is awarded to Richard Holland.

1934

Macalester college men's debate team ranks fifth in the United States out of 121 colleges as a result of the national Pi Kappa Delta tournament in Lexington, Kentucky. Paul Moore and Carl Bahmeier, Macalester debaters, went through eight rounds of tournament debating before they were stopped by the Northern States Teachers College, Aberdeen, S.D.

--The Mac Weekly, April 12,1934

1936

Gladys Simmons won the national championship in Women’s Oratory at the Inter-State Old Line Oratorical Contest and also finished second in oratory at the Pi Kappa Delta national tournament. The men's debate team composed of Verues Grafstrom, Carl Bahmeier and Edward Forus reached the quarter-final round at the PKD tournament.

1939

Barbara Dailey, freshman debate and orator, won the women's extemporaneous speech title of the Upper Mississippi province at St. Olaf college, March 30. She was awarded the first place gold medal for speaking on the subject "Democracy and Diplomacy."…

According to the college debate coach. Harold LeVander, Miss Dailey is the first person to win both the women's oratorical contest and the extemp title in a single year. Mr. LeVander added that the victory was all the more noteworthy because of the unusually keen competition in the keen competition in the tournament this year.

--Mac Weekly April 6, 1939

1940

The Macalester chapter of Pi Kappa Delta, forensic fraternity, is now ranked in eighth position among the nation's chapters, according to a recent announcement by G. W. Finley, national secretary.

This rise in ranking is the result of the record achieved by the college at the tournament in Knoxville, Tennessee, last April, at which Richard Johansen placed second in extempore speaking and Barbara Dailey received a rating of excellence in the same type of contest for women. In addition, Barbara Dailey also ranked high in oratory and the debate teams composed of Gene Halverson and Richard Johansen and Barbara Dailey and Marion Maxwell succeeded in winning a majority of their 16 contests.

--Mac Weekly, October 24, 1940

1946

Macalester's debate team rated among the nation's finest last week after participating in the Grand National Forensic Tournament held at Mary Washington College of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Tournament officials placed Dona Kemling and Pat Lanegran among the first five women debaters and put Dick Boquist and Tom Hughes on the list of the ten best men speakers. Pat Lanegran also took first place in extemporaneous speaking.

--Mac Weekly, May 3, 1946 

1947

Pat Lanegran, Macalester junior,won first place with a "superior" rating in the women's extemporaneous speaking division of the national Pi Kappa Delta speech tournament at Bowling Green, Ohio.

--Mac Weekly, April 18, 1947 

1951 

Two Macalester coed debaters won sweepstake honors at the annual Pi Kappa Delta National tournament at Oklahoma A. and M. College. The two come by their talent quite naturally. Marilyn Mason Walchuk and Janice Schneiter, both seniors, come from public speaking families. In fact Marilyn's mother, while attending Macalester, won the extemporaneous speaking contest in the same Pi Kappa Delta tournament 25 years ago.

--Mac Weekly, April 13, 1951

1956 

The first team from Macalester to qualify for the National Debate Tournament held at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York made quite a splash. At the end of the eight preliminary rounds, the team of Karlyn Kohrs and Henry Ruf were the second seed and Ruf was second speaker. The team advanced to the quarter-final round.

1961

Bringing fame to the college, the speech department and themselves were Joyce DeGroot, sophomore, and Faith Ohman, freshman, when they gained admittance to the final rounds of debate at West Point academy April 25-29. In the severest debate competition in the nation, the coeds, the youngest team in the tournament, had a final standing of eighth in the nation, the first female team ever to reach the finals in the famous West Point academy national tournament. The girls emerged eighth after eight seeding rounds, where strength was pitted against strength and weakness against weakness. The coeds, who were accompanied by their coach, Roger Mosvick, defeated the following teams: Idaho State, University of Miami, Georgetown University, Central State College, Oklahoma and Abilene Christian College, Texas. They lost to the University of Alabama, Purdue University and the University of South Carolina. The tournament was won by Harvard University. The girls were eliminated in the quarter finals. They comprised the first girls' team ever to reach the quarter finals at West Point. 38 of the nation's top teams partici- pated.

--Mac Weekly, May 5, 1961 

1965 

When the Mac Debaters returned from Bradley Saturday night, November 20, they had successfully accomplished what no other college or university had been able to do in the tournament's nineteen year history: that was to win it three consecutive years. Thursday afternoon, November 18, ten Mac debaters and six individual-events people left Mac-alester to attend the Nineteenth Annual Bradley National Invitational Debate and Forensics Tournament. It was the largest Bradley tournament in its history with over 75 colleges and universities attending. All the Big Ten schools were represented, and a total of 775 students were participating in debate and individual events. 

The debaters compiled the best debate record of the 75 schools attending with a 21-4 win/loss record. The second place school, University of Illinois at Urbana, finished with a 19-6 record, Jim Pratt and Len Hawes were undefeated in five rounds of debate, posting the best record for Mac, Jerie McArthur and Marty Batchelor had a 4-1 record along with Tim O'Brien — Bill Conard, Jackie Schwebke — Marcie Secretan, and Bob Lichter — Jack Watson, This is the best debate record Macalester has ever posted at Bradley, and it was rewarded with the first place trophy in debate.

--Mac Weekly, December 3, 1965 

1969

The Macalester debate squad, long a regional power in the upper Midwest, demonstrated this past weekend that it can compete with favorable results on the national level. Though Mac has always been one of the top teams in the region, its performance on the national level has never been of a quality which could be described as anything more than "adequate." The squad's showing last weekend bodes well for the future in that the overwhelming majority of the team are underclassmen.

Mac sent the teams of Bill Lewis- Dave Lappako and Kurt Garmaker-Judy Julian at the Wayne State University National Novice Tournament in Detroit. Lewis-Lappako finished the six preliminary rounds with a 6-0 record while Garmaker- Julian went 5-1 in the prelims, debating some of the tougher talent in the tournament. Garmaker-Julian lost their quarterfinal to a team from Dartmouth College on a 2-1 ballot. Lewis-Lappako won their quarterfinal round on a 3-0 ballot from the University of Illinois-Chicago Circle and lost in the semifinals to the same team from Dartmouth, again on a 2-1 ballot. The Dartmouth team went on to lose to Wake Forest in the finals.

In addition to being the only school to qualify two teams for the elimination rounds, Mac's combined record of 11-1 in the preliminary rounds was the best of any school at the tournament. The tournament consisted of 60 top novice teams from across the nation. Some of the name debate powers at the tournament in addition to Dartmouth and Wake Forest were Michigan State, Augustana of Illinois, and Emory University of Atlanta

--Mac Weekly, March 7, 1969

1970

"We're number one." That's the chant you might hear from the 1969-70 Macalester debating squad--it's first in the nation among all schools, large and small.

Macalester won by a large margin. The Mac debaters scored 1,049 points in inter-collegiate sweepstakes competition last year, according to tabulations just published by the Intercollegiate Speech Tournament Results. They were far ahead of second highest scorer University of Wyoming with 728 points; third was the University of Oregon with 664 points; fourth was Lewis and Clark College with 619 points; and fifth was the University of Houston with 584 points.

The highlights of the 1969-70 debating season were the Stanford University National Invitational Tournament won by Kurt Garmaker and Judy Julian, and the National Novice Tournament, won by Doug Drake and Don Wilson.

--Mac Weekly, October 20, 1970

1971

Host school Macalester did well last weekend at the 25th National Debate Tournament, but not quite well enough to make it into the elimination rounds and have a shotat the national title.

Mac's qualifying team of Kurt Garmaker and Doug Drake won five debates and lost three in the preliminary rounds to place 17th out of 52 teams.

They missed "making it out" so narrowly that had they picked up even one of the three ballots in their eighth preliminary round against Kansas, they would have mbved from 17th to 7th place and into the octafinals.

--Mac Weekly, April 26, 1971

1973

Senior Carol Grant and sophomore Jeanne Forneris reached the octo-final round of the National Debate Tournament. Forneris and Grant began the tournament by besting the top-ranked team from Georgetown University in their round and went on to post a 6-2 record during the remainder of the preliminary round competition. In the round of 16, Grant and Forneris lost a 4-1 decision to the University of Kansas.

1974

Two Mac debaters, Jeanne Forneris and Dan Yarosh, won the right last weekend to go to the National Debate Tournament at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

--Mac Weekly, March 22, 1974

1975

Seniors Jeanne Forneris and Dick Lesicko reached the octa-final round of the National Debate Tournament in Stockton, California. Macalester was eliminated by the A team from the University of Southern California on a 3-2 decision.

1976

Senior Dan Yarosh and junior William Piels qualified for the National Debate Tournament held at Boston College.

1977

The Macalester Debate Team received two first round at-large bids for the National Debate Tournament, for the first time in Mac's debating history. This year only three schools received two first round bids--Macalester, Harvard, and the University of Southern California. A national committee selects the sixteen teams who need not participate in district elimination tournaments to attend the national tournament. These teams are awarded an invitation,to the national tournament based on their superior performance throughout, the year.

Seniors Bill Piels and Ron Kammer and Sophomores Kit Pierson and Bob Phelps will represent Mac at the national tournament on April 15-18 in Springfield, Mo. Mac received an at-large bid only once in the past. Jeanne Forneris and Dick Lesicko received this in 1975.

--Mac Weekly, March 3, 1977

At the NDT, both teams reached the octa-final round. Pierson and Phelps were eliminated by the University of Redlands while Kammer and Piels were taken down by the defending national champions from the University of Kansas.

1978

Four juniors represented Macalester at the National Debate Tournament in Denver. Kit Pierson and Bob Phelps received a first round bid to the tournament for the second year in a row and the team of Jeff Larson and Steve Bennett reached the tournament by winning the District IV Qualifying Tournament. At the tournament, both teams reached the octa-final round. Bennett and Larson lost a 3-2 decision to the top-seeded team from Wake Forest while Pierson and Phelps were eliminated by the University of Alabama. Pierson was the fourth place speaker. 

1979

Two freshman Macalester debaters have qualified for the 1979 National Debate Tournament to be held at the University of Kentucky. At the NDT District IV Tournament at the University of Wisconsin, Plattesville, David Abler and Jim O'Brien won first place to lead the contingent of three qualifying teams from an area including Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota universities and colleges.

--Mac Weekly, March 23, 1979

Two members of the Forensics team placed first and fourth in the National Individual Events Tournament in Ames, Iowa last week. Senior Dwight Rabuse placed first in both extemporaneous and impromptu speaking. He was the only competitor in the tournament to win two events. Junior Lauri Rantala placed fourth in impromptu speaking.

--Mac Weekly, April 20, 1979

1980

Sophmores Dave Abler and Jim O’Brien once again qualified for the National Debate Tournament. At the tournament, which was hosted by the University of Arizona, they “had their car, with all their evidence, stolen… in Tuscon, Arizona. O'Brien and Abler finished eighteenth with empty hands and tired mouths, and did not make the elimination finals.”

--Mac Weekly, December 5, 1980

1981

For the third consecutive year, Dave Abler and Jim O’Brien qualified for the National Debate Tournament at California State Polytechnic University-Pomona.

1982

Seniors Dave Abler and Pat Dobberstein completed at the National Debate Tournament which was hosted by Florida State University.

1984

This year, sophomore Greg Mastel, and junior Patty Davies will represent Macalester at the National Debate Tournament hosted by the University of Tennessee. They were nominated by a national committee, which places them in the top 16 teams in the country.

By using a procedure called application-at-large the Mastel and Davies team bypassed district competition. Davies and Mastel have beaten most of the top-ranked teams in the nation.

1985

Sophomore debaters Michele Horner and Molly McGinnis reached the semi-final round of the Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha National Championship Tournament held on the campus of the University of Kansas.

 

Senior Thea Rademacher and junior Dave Reid took first place at the District IV Qualifying Tournament and secured a bid to the National Debate Tournament hosted by Gonzaga University in Spokane. 1986

A Macalester debate team won the national title on Monday at the CEDA championships at Wichita State University. Paul Benson and Molly McGinnis won the event, the first official national tournament held by CEDA, the Cross Examination Debate Association. 196 teams from schools all over the country were entered, including Ivy League schools and major public universities.

Both Benson and McGinnis were ranked in the top ten as individual speakers in addition to winning the team trophy. McGinnis was ranked fourth, and Benson was ranked tenth.

--Mac Weekly, April 11, 1986

Junior Michele Horner and freshman Jim Colliander earned a bid to the National Debate Tournament hosted by Dartmouth College.

1987

The Macalester debate team of seniors Paul Benson and Molly McGinnis won first place honors at the national Cross-Examination Debate Association (CEDA) debate tournament, held April 4-6 at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. This is the second year in a row Benson and McGinnis have taken first place in the national team competition. 

Benson, a political science and speech communications major, was also the top speaker at the tournament whileMcGinnis, who double majors in economics and speech communi-catons, was eighth speaker. 

The Macalester forensics squad has ranked in the top eight among colleges and univer-sities every year since 1969. Among colleges with enrollment under 3,000,Macalester has ranked in the top three for 18 years.

--Mac Weekly, April 10, 1987

Senior Michele Horner-Jackson and freshman Tim Pramas competed at the National Debate Tournament on the campus of Illinois State University.

1988

The Macalester debate team ended a successful season with a strong showing at the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) National Championships. All four Macalester teams advanced to elimination rounds. Particularly noteworthy were the teams of senior Kris Achterhof and junior Jeff Hepper and sophomore Paul Robbennolt and Tim Pramas, who acheived 7-1 records. Robbennolt and Pramas defeated several nationally-ranked teams in the preliminary rounds and continued their strong performance by defeating a highly-regarded team from Southern Illinois University in the round of 32. Unfortunately, their bid for the national title ended in the octa-final round with a close loss to Fort Hays State University.

--Mac Weekly, April 15, 1988 

1989

Two Macalester teams defeated their opponents in the semi-final round to tie for first at the Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha National Conference and Tournament at Illinois State University on March 10, 11, 12. DSR-TKA is a national, debate honorary whose membership comprises more than half the colleges and universities in the country.Emily Stewart and Paul Robbennolt eliminated Gonzaga University on a unanimous three-judge decision, and Ian Pitz and Jeff Hepper achieved the same result with Colorado College. These two Mac teams eliminated the University of Alabama and Loyola University in the quarter-finals. A third Mac team, Mellissa Fuller and Tim Pramus, won eight debates before losing to Gonzaga University in the quarter-finals.

--Mac Weekly, March 17, 1989 

At the CEDA National Championship tournament, which was held on the campus of the University of South Carolina, both Fuller-Pramas and Hepper-Pitz reached the octa-final round and Stewart was third speaker. 

1990

Macalester debaters fared well in the preliminary rounds of the National Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha Tournament two weekends ago, but were defeated in elimination rounds. In the eight preliminary rounds, all four Macalester teams present advanced. The top-seeded team of Dori Apollonio and Mike Robl scored eight wins before they were eliminated. Melissa Fuller and Tim Pramas came in second with seven wins. Gary Arndt and Paul Robbenolt were sixth with six wins, and the sophomore team of Becky Opsata and Ed Van Ness came in tenth with five victories. 

The Opsata-Van Ness team lost in the round of sixteen in a split decision. The other three teams tied for fifth place, losing in the quarter-final round.

--Mac Weekly, March 13, 1990 

At CEDA Nationals, once again all four teams reached the elimination rounds. Arndt and Robbennolt defeated the defending national champions from Gonzaga in the octa-final round before eventually losing in the quarter-finals. 

1991

Competing at the Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha National Championship Tournament at Western Kentucky University, five of the sixteen teams that advanced to the elimination rounds were from Mac. The team of Dori Apollonio and Gary Arndt reached the final round where they were defeated by the University of Kansas. 

At CEDA Nationals, Macalester had three teams, Mike Robl-Melissa Fuller, Becky Opsata-Mark Golub, and Apollonio-Arndt, reach the octa-final round where they were eliminated by the teams that finished first, second and third at the tournament. Melissa Fuller, a senior from San Diego, was second speaker at the tournament. 

1992

At the CEDA National Tournament, seniors Becky Opsata and Mark Golub advanced to the octa-final round. Senior Jennifer Frisch was the sixth-ranked speaker at the competition.  1994

The first ever Macalester Mock Trial team placed first at the American Mock Trial Association Silver Flight National Tournament. First-year Teddy Shin received an award for being one of the top 10 lawyers in the competition, and the team as a whole received a perfect 8-0 record during preliminary competition, winning the finals with a 2-0-1 decision. The team, consisting of Toby Heytens, Julie Lehnhoff, Dave McGinnis, Sarah Sawtelle, Teddy Shin, Rachel Taylor and Will Everage. The team traveled to Nationals in Milwaukee after competing in the regional tournament at Hamline. The final round was against Eastern Illinois University, the defending champions, the first team to win the tournament 10 years ago, and a team consisting primarily of juniors and seniors.

--Mac Weekly, March 18, 1994 

1996

Nathan Dintenfass and Jennifer Alme reach the quarter-finals of the CEDA National Tournament in Long Beach, California. 

The Macalester Mock Trial Team surpassed all expectations when it placed second out of 64 teams at the National Championship Tournament in Des Moines, Iowa last weekend. The team's performance was especially significant in light of the fact that this is only the third year of mock trial's existence at Macalester. 

In addition to the high placing, four Macalesler students were named to the All American team. Toby Heytens, Jenny Hunter '99 and Emily Lindell ‘98 were awarded All- American status for their roles as lawyers, and Dave McGinnis '97 was named an All-American witness. Both of the Mock Trial teams from Macalester made the national tournament this year. A predominately older team headed by Heytens was undefeated in their division and placed second in a tie-breaker. The predominately younger team, captained by Hunter, had a score of five wins, two ties, and one loss whichplaced it in a tie for fourth place.

--Mac Weekly, April 4, 1996 

1997

Macalester was one of only eight colleges and universities in the nation to be represented in the elimination rounds of the National Debate Tournament and the CEDA national tournament. At the NDT, the Mac team of Jennifer Alme and Kiva Garen advanced to the first elimination round. Two weeks later at the CEDA national tournament, Alme and Garen reached the octa-final round. A second Mac team, Martha Wilson and Sarah Stucky, also qualified for the NDT which was hosted by Liberty University in Virginia.

After qualifying for its third consecutive trip to the American Mock Trial Association’s national tournament, Macalester's ‘A' team came home from nationals with a third place award, while the ‘B’ team also placed in the top ten. Katie Wiik '00 won an All-American Attorney Award and participated in the Honors Trial. David Hancock '00 won an All-American Witness Award.

--Mac Weekly, April 10, 1997 

1998

For the second consecutive year, debaters Jennifer Alme and Kiva Garen advanced to the elimination rounds at both the National Debate Tournament and CEDA Nationals. At the NDT, Alme and Garen reached the octa-final round where they were bested by Harvard. At CEDA Nationals, the team finished in third place after losing in the semi-final round to Emory University. 

1999

After not placing at last year's national tournament, the Macalester Mock Trial Team had

something to prove at this year's contest. One of the teams finished sixth in their division, and the other team finished eighth. Even more notable were the excellent individual performances by several members of the team. Joelle Blomquist's '02 perfect score as an attorney placed her as the best attorney in the tournament. In addition to Blomquist being named an All-American Attorney, Niloy Ray '99 and Alex McBride '02 took home All-American honors for their efforts as witnesses.

--Mac Weekly, April 16, 1999 

2001

Macalester’s mock trial team finished in seventh place at American Mock Trial Association’s national championship tournament. Eric Hogstrom was named an All-American Attorney. 

Junior Kate Kauf and sophomore Chris Kenyon qualified for the National Debate Tournament hosted by the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

2002

After three days of competition at the national championship tournament, Macalester's mock trial team ranked fifth in the nation and had another student added to its roster of All-Americans. The tournament, which is held in Des Moines, brings together the nation's top 64 teams, that survived a regional qualifying process involving over 400 teams spread among 17 regional tournaments. In addition to the fifth place team award, Macalester also captured some significant individual awards. Ryan Murray '04 was named an All-American attorney and was selected to appear in the American Mock Trial Association's Honors Trial, an opportunity awarded to only top scoring members of the All-American team. Other members of the team were Stacey Hall '02, Oliver McKinstry ‘02,- Julie Cohen '03, Kate Baer-Truer '04, Cate McDonough '05 and Daniel Burgess '05.

--Mac Weekly, April 19, 2002 

2004

For the fifth year in a row, a Macalester Mock Trial team defeated 26 other teams from Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin at the regional championships and earned the right to attend the American Mock Trial Association’s national championship tournament. At the championships, Macalester finished in sixth place. 

2005

For the sixth consecutive year, Macalester's Mock Trial program clinched the regional championship and advanced to AMTA’s national championship. While neither of the two Mac teams finished in the top ten, two more All-American Attorneys were added to the list: Daniel Burgess and Laura Bower 

2006

Macalester’s mock trial team returned to the top ten at the American Mock Trial Association’s national championship tournament with a fourth place finish. Laura Bower and Christine Elliott were both named All-American Attorneys. This was Bower’s third All-American award having won as an attorney in 2005 and as a witness in 2003.

Junior Desiree Weber and first-year Sam Heidepriem qualified for the National Debate Tournament at Northwestern University.

2007

Sophomores Sam Heidepriem and Talon Powers advanced through district competition to qualify for the National Debate Tournament in Dallas.

2008

Macalester’s mock trial team began the national championship tournament by splitting with two-time defending champion, the University of Virginia. Macalester also split with Yale and Stanford while losing to the eventual tournament winner, the University of Maryland. Two more Macalester students were honored as All-Americans: senior Etie Lee Grunfeld was named an All-American Attorney and first-year student Cali Cope-Kasten was named as an All-American Witness.

Talon Powers and Cory Copeland attended the National Debate Tournament at California State University-Fullerton.

2009

Talon Powers and Jon Chen qualified for the National Debate Tournament hosted by The University of Texas at Austin.