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Thresher forensics team takes third at tournament with 13 awards

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. -- The Bethel College forensics team shone on their home ground as they hosted the Sunflower-Sooner Swing on campus Oct. 14-16. The squad competed in parliamentary debate on Oct. 14. On Oct. 15, the team hosted 13 other colleges and universities for individual events. On Oct. 16, the Threshers earned enough individual awards for a third-place team sweepstakes award after competing in the half of the swing run by Oklahoma University.

Lindsey Miller, senior from Haven, ended the weekend with three first-place awards. In parliamentary debate, the team of Miller and Peter Miller, sophomore from Haven, advanced to the final round after wins in both quarterfinals and semifinals. Miller and Miller then won a 3-0 decision over Southern Baptist University.

Lindsey Miller was awarded first-place debate speaker at the tournament. She also placed first in extemporaneous speaking in the OU half of the tournament.

In the parliamentary debate competition, all three of Bethel’s debate teams advanced past preliminary rounds. Robert Weaver, junior from Wichita, and Kristine Dumler, freshman from Moundridge, advanced into the quarterfinals round, while sophomores Cory Buchta, Newton, and Shannon Carey, Moundridge, advanced into semifinals. Weaver was named fourth-place speaker and Carey fifth-place.

Carey earned another first place for the Threshers in after-dinner speaking during the OU half of the swing. Justin Shook, junior from Lyons, was second in extemporaneous speaking and sixth in impromptu speaking. Peter Miller placed fourth in impromptu speaking, and Weaver was fifth in extemporaneous speaking.

These trophies put the Threshers in third place overall in the team sweepstakes.

Twelve squad members competed in the tournament as well as helped to run Bethel’s half of the Sunflower-Sooner Swing. Also competing for the Threshers were juniors Bethany McElhiney of Wichita and Shawn Rath of Moundridge and freshmen Jenna Boettger of Hesston, Ashley McDonald of Douglass and Allen Harpool of Moundridge.

The Threshers will next travel to Lee’s Summit, Mo., for the Central States Swing, Oct. 28-30.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and has been named a Top Tier college by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1998. For more information, see the Bethel web site at

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