February 04, 2022

Sedalia, MissouriFeb. 4, 2022 – State Fair Community College’s newly formed Speech and Debate team competed in the 24th Annual Gorlok Gala Tournament Jan. 28-30 that was hosted virtually by Webster University, St. Louis. SFCC students who competed were sophomore Allyson Sampson of Quincy, Illinois, and freshman Joshua Kofahl of Jefferson City.  SFCC faculty Kaila Todd and Sarah Nail are the team’s coaches. 

Sampson was named Tournament Champion, Novice Division and second place speaker in IPDA-style debate. Kofahl competed in Junior Division debate and individual events. The SFCC Wordrunner team received third in the Overall Sweepstakes, Community College Division. However, teams from two-year and four-year institutions were not separated and competed against each other throughout the tournament rounds.  

There were teams from 44 universities and colleges from 17 states who participated in the tournament. The International Public Debate Association (IPDA) was one of four different styles of debate at this tournament. Students were given a new topic each round and had 30 minutes to prepare their case for that round. 

“It is incredibly fulfilling to see this group continue to work and grow,” said Coach Todd. “We have had significant success in our first competitive season, but what I’m most proud of is their ability to adapt and overcome every challenge that has been thrown at them.  

“This was our first virtual tournament, and technology isn’t always the friendliest. It isn’t easy to get up and give a speech, and it is even harder to deliver your speech to a screen. No matter what challenge we are facing, these two (Sampson and Kofahl) stay positive and focused on helping each other and helping the team. They are really setting the bar for what it means to be a Wordrunner.” 

The team’s next competition will be the Missouri Association of Forensics Activities State Championship Tournament Feb. 12-13. To learn more about SFCC’s Speech and Debate team, contact Todd at (660) 596-7246 or ktodd4@sfccmo.edu or Sarah Nail, SFCC Communications instructor, at snail1@sfccmo.edu.

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