This weekend the Debate Team competed at the national tournament at Lee College in Baytown, Texas, winning the season long Founders Award and the Professional Division, with team members taking home various titles.
The tournament consisted of eight preliminary rounds followed by elimination rounds. As opposed to the debate team’s normal regional tournaments during the year, the national tournament hosted all of the teams in the International Public Debate Association.
High levels of anticipation and talent at the national tournament created a challenging and exciting atmosphere where teams come for the purpose of competing with the most accomplished debaters.
Freshman political science major Josiah McGee enjoyed the challenge of the competition and the support from team members and the debate coach Web Drake, associate professor of communication arts.
“Dr. Drake challenged us midway through to step up our game,” McGee said. “It meant the world when Dr. Drake expressed his pride in our performance.”
Allison Pulliam, senior broadcast journalism and political science major, closed out her last year of college debate as a finalist in team debate with Thomas Gray, junior broadcast journalism major.
“It’s bittersweet since it is my last year,” Pulliam said. “I enjoyed the competition and the people who made my last season a good one.”
Freshman political science major Clark Hubbard won first speaker in the nation in the novice division.
Reflecting on his first year of college debate, Hubbard said he was thankful for the time to bond with fellow teammates and to grow with them.
“The car rides back are probably going to stick with me the most,” Hubbard said, reminiscing of late night drives colored with conversations about Einstein, time travel and popular video games.
The tournament served as a chance for the debaters to close out their year well, both intellectually and relationally.
“It isn’t just a national tournament, but we also get to see the work we’ve done all season come to fruition,” said sophomore English major, Blair Barao. “We get to celebrate the success of competitors who have become friends, as iron sharpens iron.”