Debate team ranks second nationally

Katy Murray
Commentary Editor   

   The University of ArkansasĖMonticelloís speech and debate team placed third in the regional debate tournament held Feb. 5-6 at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, La.

   This triumph bodes well for the team because they have to compete while striving to maintain their current national ranking. According to the International Public Debate Association, the team currently ranks second overall. At the Louisiana Tech tournament they not only achieved third place recognition in the team debate sweepstakes, but also the fourth place position in public debate and third in the cumulative sweepstakes.

   When consulted about the tournamentís affect on the teamís national standing, forensics director Scott Kuttenkuler said, "It most likely stayed the same."

   Regardless of the pressure to perform well while nearing the end of the debate season, the team powerfully secured a success in Ruston. Members took home titles galore from the tournament and will hold a strong position when going into the national championship in March.

   At Louisiana Tech, junior Chad Rogers of Bentonville placed second in varsity public debate and junior Brandi Morgan of Crossett finished as an octo-finalist in that division. In novice public debate, first-year student Brian Rauls of Bearden became a quarterfinalist while also receiving third place as a novice speaker. In the category of team debate, Morgan and junior Matt Baumgarten of Monticello left as semifinalists.

   Others competing for the team included first-year students Tim Williamson of Monticello, Scott Allison Richardson of Warren, Whitney Romans of Crossett and Lydia Gorse of Texarkana, Texas.

   The team will finish out the season by attending the Pi Kappa Delta national tournament March 16-19 in St. Louis, Mo., and by hosting the International Public Debate Associationís national championship April 15-17.

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