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Debate team wins big at Purdue

March 27, 2014

 

FREDEDREIA WILLIS
Staff Reporter

 

The Louisiana Tech University debate team brought back victories to their “doghouse.”

Hannah Schilling, a senior political science and journalism major, won the championship title with her partner Samuel Hathorn, a sophomore secondary education major. –Submitted Photo

Hannah Schilling, a senior political science and journalism major, won the championship title with her partner Samuel Hathorn, a sophomore secondary education major. –Submitted Photo

 

Hannah Schilling and her debate partner Samuel Hathorn won the championship title at the Crossroads of the World Debate Tournament March 15-17 at Purdue University.

 

In the final rounds, Tech defeated Marquette University, the University of Michigan and Purdue University.

 

Members of the team said that it was gratifying to win the tournament after coming in second in last year’s competition.

 

“It was really a crowning achievement,” said Hathorn, a sophomore secondar education major.

 

Hathorn describes his debate partner, Schilling, as an excellent motivator during the tournament.

 

“When we found out we were going to finals, I felt ready,” said Schilling, a senior political science and journalism major. “All of the hard work we had done had led up to that moment, and we rose to the occasion. When they announced that Sam and I were the champions, I was on top of the world.”

 

Two other Tech students were also tournament finalists and both received individual awards. Senior accounting major Ben Markway, was awarded the top speaker of the tournament and his debate partner John Keeter, a junior finance major, received a fourth place speaker award.

 

“It’s not hard,” Markway said. “Put in the work and you’ll get results you want.”

 

The tournament was held in an international style of debate called Worlds. In this style, a two-person team receives a topic and position 15 minutes before the debate starts. Tech’s debate team has only been competing in this style and on this circuit for three years.

 

The team’s next tournament is April 11-13 at the United States Universities Debate Championship at Purdue University.

 

Chennai Worlds, an online information site about the World Universities Debating Championship, said even though only American universities will be competing, more than 200 teams from universities worldwide will be in attendance.

The website states that this is the largest debate tournament in the Western Hemisphere.

 

“We’ll continue to do what’s worked for us all year,” Schilling said. “Stay focused, keep practicing and support each other no matter what.”

 

Email comments to flw005@latech.edu.

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