Debate Team 2nd in overall sweepstakes in first fall tournament

Monticello, Ark. — The Union University Debate Team completed its first tournament of the season Oct. 4-6 at the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

The team placed first in the International Public Debate Association sweepstakes and second in the overall sweepstakes out of 10 teams at the tournament.

“The team got off to an excellent start,” said Web Drake, debate team coach and chairman of the Communication Arts Department. “The new debaters blended into the team naturally and easily. The returnees continued to build on their previous experience.”

Lacie Fink, sophomore accounting major, won the novice division; Abby Williams, senior English and music major, placed second in the varsity division; Hunter Cochran, junior mathematics and physics major, placed second in the professional division.

“[Fink, Cochran and Williams] were wonderful representatives of our team,” said Ali Holcomb, debate team captain and senior social work major. “It was great to see how the whole team was able to come together and support them.”

The tournament was the first opportunity for the team’s seven freshmen to compete.

“I think we will have a really excellent season,” Holcomb said. “[The freshmen] worked really hard, and I have a lot of confidence in them.”


Here are full results from the University of Arkansas at Monticello’s ‘Weevil Wars Tournament.’

  • Team: IPDA sweepstakes first place and overall sweepstakes second place
  • Hunter Cochran: professional debate finalist and professional debate speaker fifth place
  • Abby Williams: varsity debate finalist and varsity debate speaker second place
  • Luke Brake: varsity debate quarterfinalist
  • Ali Holcomb: varsity debate quarterfinalist and varsity debate speaker third place
  • Anna Goodman: varsity debate octo-finalist and varsity debate speaker fourth place
  • Janie Owen: varsity debate octo-finalist
  • Sam Strickland: varsity debate octo-finalist
  • Lacie Fink: novice debate champion and novice debate speaker second place
  • Daniel Keylon: novice debate quarterfinalist
  • Cassandra Solis: novice debate octo-finalist

For more information about getting involved with the Debate Team, contact Web Drake at 731-661-5961 or

About Jenaye White 38 Articles
Jenaye White, class of 2015 public relations alumna, is former managing editor of the Cardinal & Cream. A native of Paducah, Ky., White is now a publicist at Lifeway Christian Resources. She enjoys trying new coffee, playing her guitar and her favorite 'once-a-year' hobby is snow skiing. Follow her on Twitter: @jenayewhite