Northwest University News

NU Debaters Achieve Highest National Championship Finish in Debate Team History

NU Debaters Achieve Highest National Championship Finish in Debate Team History

Competing against top universities and in tournaments across the country, the Northwest Eagle debate team sets a standard of excellence in all that it does.

Ending the regular season with a first place trophy at the Mark O. Hatfield Memorial Debate Tournament at Willamette University, the NU Eagle debate team headed to the U.S. Universities Debating Championship (USUDC) at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

NU debate teams Calvin Horne and Abbie Kruse, Jonathan Swayne and Marlene Pierce, and Isaac Sloat and Stephanas Pizelo traveled alongside faculty member and debate coach Jacob Witt to the USUDC to compete against 180 of the top teams from around the United States. Yale, Stanford, Cornell, and a host of other universities competed in the same division as Northwest.

Before their departure, these teams spent time meticulously preparing for the tournament. This preparation included library research, weekly debates, and writing topic briefs. Debate coach Jacob Witt said, “All three teams [were] excited to compete and face off against the top teams in the U.S.”

Horne and Kruse Finish in the Top 16

NU eagle debaters participated in six preliminary rounds that focused on a wide array of topics, from vaccinations to the U.S. Supreme Court and beyond. NU debaters Kruse and Horne finished the six rounds strong and emerged as the 26th seed, sending them to the octofinal round of the tournament. Facing off against Cornell College and two teams from the University of La Verne, Kruse and Horne debated the topic of banning pre-nuptial agreements and emerged as victors along with Cornell.

Kruse and Horne finished in the quarterfinal round of the debate, ranking NU among the top 16 teams in the United States. Additionally, Horne ranked as the 33rd best speaker in the competition, out of 360 total speakers. This quarterfinal finish is the highest finish at a national championship tournament in NU debate team history.

The USUDC marks the last competition for Horne and Kruse, who spent four years on the NU Eagle Debate Team. Coach Witt said, “Their leadership and dedication to debate will be hard to replace.” 


[Team photo courtesy of Jonathan Swayne]

Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 Share on Facebook Share on Facebook