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A-State Debate Team Topples Field at Western Kentucky Tournament


JONESBORO, Ark. — The Arkansas State University debate team opened the fall 2013 competitive season in dominant fashion at the Forensics Fiesta tournament Sept. 20-22. The tournament was in Bowling Green, Ky., and hosted by Western Kentucky University and Miami University.

Arkansas State toppled the field finishing with three undefeated teams and actually closed out finals at the tournament as the final round was slated to be Arkansas State vs. Arkansas State.

“This is the perfect way to begin the year,” said Dr. Chris Harper, debate team coach and assistant professor of Communications Studies. “To have three teams go undefeated is really pretty amazing and to be honest, a little unexpected. The field at Western Kentucky was pretty strong including teams from the University of Kentucky, Wiley College, William Carey University, Southwest Baptist University, and Hillsdale College.”

The A-State team of Benton Bajorek of Jacksonville and Baker Weilert of Fort Scott, Kan., finished the weekend as the tournament’s top rated team after posting a 5-0 record. They were ranked ahead of the second place team of JJ Thompson of Cave Springs and Angel West of Fort Scott, Kan., and third place finisher Micah Christensen of Cheyenne, Wyo., and Rachel Bjornestad of Powell, Wyo., based on speaker point allocations.

Thompson captured the coveted top individual debate speaker award from the tournament with Bajorek bringing home the third place individual speaker award.

The Arkansas State squad is competing next at Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg during the weekend of Oct. 18-20.