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A-State Debate Team Finishes Strong in Tournament


JONESBORO, Ark. — The Arkansas State University Debate Program put on another strong showing Jan. 24-26 at the 2014 Gorlok Gala Speech and Debate Tournament hosted by Webster University in St. Louis, Mo.

A-State was led by junior standout Rachel Bjornstad of Powell, Wyo., who brought home the award for first place overall debater in public forum debate. As a team, the Red Wolves finish second in the overall competition.

“We dropped two 2-1 decisions to an excellent team from Simpson College and both of those rounds could have gone either way,“ said Dr. Chris Harper, Debate Team coach.

This was one of the largest tournaments of the year for A-State bringing in 44 colleges from 17 states, including Indiana, Ohio State, Wheaton, Loyola, Hillsdale, Western Kentucky, and Texas Christian University.

After three days of long and stressful competition, the A-State team of Bjornstad and Micah Christensen of Cheyenne, Wyo., advanced to the final round of the tournament before dropping a close 2-1 judges’ decision to Simpson College.

The team of JJ Thompson of Cave Springs and Baker Weilert of Fort Scott, Kan., also had a strong tournament advancing to the semi-final round of the tournament before dropping a hard fought 2-1 judges’ decision to the tournament champions from Simpson College.

“This was certainly one of the toughest tournaments we will attend this year and I couldn’t be more proud of our team,” continued Dr. Harper. “Bringing home the top speaker award and making it to finals are all you can ask for. We were certainly a little disappointed the final decision didn’t go our way, but we performed well.”

The Arkansas State Debate Program is currently preparing to attend the International Forensics Association Debate Tournament hosted in Paris, France, March 16-18.

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