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Bethel team places 2nd in home debate tournament

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College had the 2nd-place debate team and saw all six of its debaters finish in the top 10 at the Sunflower-Sooner Swing Invitational Tournaments, held Oct. 10-13 on the Bethel campus.

Bethel was one of 26 schools competing over the weekend. The other tournament sponsor was the University of Oklahoma.

In the Thresher Parliamentary Debate Tournament, the team of Matthew N. Stucky, junior from Moundridge, and Alex Stucky, sophomore from Moundridge/Galva, advanced to the finals in Open Debate against Webster University, St. Louis, and ended up with the second-place trophy.

Taylor McCabe-Juhnke, freshman from North Newton, and Sara Pohl, freshman from Moundridge, were semifinalists in Novice Debate and the team of Becky Buchta, senior from Newton, and Seth Williams, freshman from Newton, were semifinalists in Open Debate.

Matthew Stucky received the 1st-place and Buchta the 2nd-place Open Speaker Award. Pohl received the 2nd-place and McCabe-Juhnke the 3rd-place Novice Speaker Award. Alex Stucky received the 7th-place and Williams the 10th-place Open Speaker Award.

“Debate speaker awards are determined by quality points earned in five preliminary rounds of debate,” noted Bethel head forensics coach John McCabe-Juhnke. “They are an indication the debater’s skill as a speaker regardless of win/loss record.”

He added, “Brian Stucky deserves much of the credit for Bethel’s good showing in debate.” Stucky is Bethel’s assistant forensics coach and debate coach.

In the Sooner Individual Events Tournament, Dana Daugharthy, senior from Iola, and Taylor McCabe-Juhnke were 3rd in Duo Interpretation. Julia Huxman, freshman from Wichita, finished 5th in Persuasive Speaking. Pohl was 6th in prose interpretation and Alex Stucky was 6th in Extemporaneous Speaking.

Also competing for Bethel were Nicole Eaton, freshman from Dodge City; Christopher Eitzen, sophomore from Xalapa, Mexico; Lori Galliardt, freshman from McPherson; Lewis Kosjer, junior from Douglass; Kyvie Lahman, freshman from Minneola; Joshua Powell, junior from Basehor; Heather Robertsen, junior from Newton; Brian Skinner, freshman from Clay Center; and freshman Sarah Unruh.

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 was the only Kansas private college to be ranked in’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2008. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at

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