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Thompson Leads Arkansas State Debate Team In National Opener Tournament


JONESBORO — J.J. Thompson of Arkansas State University’s Debate Team helped his team get off to a strong start in the new season by finishing third at the national season opening tournament hosted at William Jewell University in Liberty, Mo., Sept. 19-21.

Thompson, a junior from Cave Springs, finished as the third-ranked speaker at the tournament among 108 debaters from 10 states across the United States. In addition to A-State, Texas Tech, Abilene Christian, Missouri, Washburn, Lewis & Clark College, Colorado, Whitman University, and defending national champion Southern Illinois competed.

“This was definitely one of the toughest tournaments in the United States this year,” said Dr. Chris Harper, director of A-State’s debate program. “There were probably 50 of the top debaters in the National Parliamentary Debate Association in attendance at this tournament, and to bring home a third place speaker trophy is pretty amazing.”

In team debate, Thompson and Baker Weilert of Fort Scott, Kan., advanced to elimination rounds before being defeated by Lewis & Clark College.

Arkansas State’s debate team will travel next to Lebanon, Ill., Friday through Sunday, Oct. 17-19, to compete at McKendree University.

jj thompson
J.J. Thompson