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Debate Team Brings Home Honors

January 15, 2009

The University of Wyoming debate team was busy during the holiday break, finishing with strong third-place Showings in both Texas and Utah.

Crucial wins over Baylor University and the University of Central Oklahoma catapulted UW senior policy debaters Sam Allen of Meridian, Idaho, and Jamie Cheek of Newcastle into a third-place finish at the 75-team University of Texas-Dallas invitational. The win over Baylor occurred in the round of 16 and was a split 2-1 decision, while the victory over the highly ranked Central Oklahoma team occurred in the round of eight and was a unanimous 3-0 decision for the Pokes.

In both debates UW was affirmative, advocating the removal of price-distorting subsidies to the cotton industry, says Matt Stannard, director of forensics in the UW Department of Communication and Journalism. He says Allen and Cheek were part of a UW squad that advanced to elimination rounds at back-to-back tournaments hosted by UT-Dallas and the University of North Texas in Denton.

Also appearing in elimination rounds at both tournaments was the UW team of Mike Bausch and Grae Harper, both from Boise, Idaho. Together with junior Kristen Brown of Casper and sophomore Kateri Bristol of Colorado Springs, Colo., the Pokes defeated debaters from Emory University, the University of Kansas, Dartmouth College, the University of Minnesota, the University of Texas and Missouri State University, among others.

UW assistant coach Chris Crowe, the 2006 CEDA Debater of the Year, was invited to judge the final round of the Dallas tournament, where the University of North Texas defeated Wake Forest University on a 3-0 decision.

"The fact that a Wyoming team was only one win away from that round, and that a Wyoming coach adjudicated it, speaks volumes about the success of our policy debate program in recent years," Stannard says.

At the University of Utah, parliamentary debaters Jared Bressler of Casper and Mike McDonald of Worland finished in third place, while the team of Andrea Garfinkel of Fort Collins, Colo., and Jeremiah Etcheverry of Rock Springs advanced to the quarterfinals. As usual, UW's parliamentary debaters spoke eloquently, with Garfinkel finishing as the tournament's fifth-best individual speaker and McDonald eighth. During the three days of competition in Salt Lake City, the team debated topics including international piracy, BLM reform, alternative energy, child labor, the right to water, land mines and whaling.

Posted on Thursday, January 15, 2009

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