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USD Wins Regional Speech and Debate Competition

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota’s Speech and Debate team topped the team from Northwestern University to win first place overall from the Vocal Viking competition at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, MN. 

Team members Bailey Quanbeck, Megan Swets, Kirk Campbell, Blake Warner, Darien Whitfield, Rebecca Froehlich and Maria Potratz earned over 200 points.

Bailey Quanbeck, a junior English and Communication Studies double major from Brandon, S.D., was the tournament champion, and Megan Swets, a sophomore Communication Studies and English double major from Brandon, was the third place competitor.

The team earned the following individual awards:

  • Bailey Quanbeck placed first in Program Oral Interpretation and Duo Interpretation, second in Dramatic Interpretation and third in Prose. She was also a semifinalist in Impromptu Speaking.
  • Megan Swets placed first in Duo Interpretation and Extemporaneous Interpretation and fifth in Poetry.
  • Blake Warner, a junior Psychology and Communication Studies major from Windom, Minnesota, placed third in Communication Analysis, fourth in Dramatic Interpretation and sixth in Extemporaneous Interpretation.
  • Rebecca Froehlich, a senior Art major from Madison, South Dakota, placed first in Informative Speaking and third in Impromptu.
  • Kirk Campbell, a sophomore Criminal Justice major from Sioux City, Iowa, placed first in Persuasive Speaking. Maria Potratz, a sophomore Communication Studies major from Harrisburg, South Dakota, placed sixth in Dramatic Interpretation. Darien Whitfield, a freshman biology major from Jackson, Tennessee, placed fourth in Program Oral Interpretation.


USD's College of Arts & Sciences offers students a top-notch undergraduate liberal arts education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences as well as graduate programs that have earned USD distinction as a research university by the Carnegie Foundation. The college's more than 22,000 alumni include famous journalists, Hollywood screenwriters, novelists, a Nobel Prize winner, South Dakota governors, attorneys, physicians, justices of the state Supreme Court, distinguished university faculty and international humanitarians.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.