Celebrating K-State’s nationally ranking speech team


On April 9, the Kansas State Speech Team placed tenth in the nation. The team participated in the American Forensic Association National Individual Event Tournaments at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The K-State Speech Team sought out to place in the top 20 to continue their 23-time streak since 1992. Last year, the team had placed fourteenth in the nation. This year, it competed against 62 schools from across the nation.

John Rogers, sophomore in statistics and data analysis, said he was humbled by the success of the K-State Speech Team.

“Any time someone puts hours of work in deserves success,” Rogers said. “It’s great to see that they represent me and Kansas State on a larger level, giving success to the K-State name.”

The K-State Speech Team is directed and coached by Craig Brown, director of forensics and instructor of communication studies. Its assistant directors Darren Epping, Cassidy Stefka, Jacob Miller and Delta Wilson also provided help to the students with coaching and mentorship throughout the seasons.

Brown said he is proud of what his students did to achieve tenth in the nation, but knows he couldn’t get them there without the dedication and commitment of his students. Brown said this isn’t an independent student activity, but it comes down to working together.

“This high doesn’t come from one or two super stars,” Brown said. “This was something that everyone contributed or did something, if not we would be eleventh and that’s still great, but not top ten.”

Logan Stacer, senior in communication studies, and Nathan Dowell, junior in history, led the K-State Speech Team. Stacer placed second in communication analysis, fifth in poetry interpretation, fourth in informative and finished as the seventh overall speaker in the nation. Dowell earned second place in extemporaneous during finals.

Elliot Holcomb, senior in kinesiology, and Michelle Briggs, senior in psychology, also advanced to the quarter-finals, finishing in the top 24 of their events.

Jimmy Fisher, senior in entrepreneurship, said he was excited to hear of the team’s success.

“It is exciting to see that K-State can excel in many areas but doesn’t get the recognition they deserve,” said Fisher. “As students who excel, I would love them to have the recognition and to have other fellow students realize that’s there’s more to excel at than sports.”

Brown also gives recognition of his hard-working students.

“They work an hour with their coach and an hour outside of the coach for every event they partake in, many practicing for over 12 hours a week,” Brown said.