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Speech and Debate Team Closes out Year With 2nd-Overall Win at Tournament

Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017

USU Debate Team

Members of Utah State University's Speech and Debate Team earned second place overall at a recent Northwest Forensic Tournament at Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore.

Utah State University’s Speech and Debate Team earned second place overall at its most recent tournament, even though team members were forced to leave before the conclusion of the final round.

The nine-member team took second overall and second in debate during the Northwest Forensic Tournament Nov. 10-12 at Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore. With the competition running several hours late and the team facing an 800-mile drive, Coach Tom Worthen made the decision to leave early and forfeit the final round.  “This allowed students to get back to classes and work on Monday,” he said.

Worthen, an adjunct faculty member, coaches the team with  former team member Garrett Smith.

All members of the USU Debate and Speech Team came home with awards. “This is common for USU, but very rare for other universities,” said Worthen.

As it has done regularly in the past, USU had the highest percentage of students competing in the elimination rounds, said Worthen. In each of the elimination rounds in which USU debaters lost, he added, the decision was split 2-1, he said.  

He explained that Northwest Forensic tournaments are set up in brackets similar to those used in college basketball’s March Madness with the top 16 debaters breaking out to compete in elimination rounds.  Each round has three judges.

Taking second overall in debate was Chantelle Gossner. Sam Hendricks placed third and Naomi Ward placed fifth. In the debate novice division, Brock Redman placed third, Carsyn Endres fourth and Taehoon Bang fifth. 

In the Debate Speaker awards, Gossner took second and Hendricks third. Carsyn Endres earned fifth place.

Winners of speech events were:  

Persuasive Speaking: Donnie Corwin, first; Taehoon Bang, second; Kaleb Webb, third; and Brock Redman, fourth.  

After Dinner Speaking: Naomi Ward, first; Sam Hendricks, fourth; and Zoe Hall, sixth.  

Communication Analysis: Chantelle Gossner, fourth.  

Impromptu Speaking: Zoe Hall, fifth.  

Informative Speaking: Brock Redman, fourth; and Kaleb Webb, fifth.

Jr. Persuasive Speaking: Sam Hendricks, third. 

Assisting as judges were Justin Jerez and Chelsea Jerez.

USU debaters hold second place in the conference behind Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash.  The team is preparing for one more conference tournament in late January at Pacific University, Forest Grove, Ore.  Debate nationals take place in March.

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