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UW Debate Team Makes Semifinals at District 2 Fall Championship

December 7, 2016

The University of Wyoming’s debate team made it to the semifinals of the District 2 Fall Championship in Seattle, Wash.

The team’s successful fall included a competition at the Sun Devil Invitational in Tempe, Ariz., and the Fall Championship, hosted by the University of Washington.

At the Sun Devil Invitational, UW seniors Carter Henman, from Cheyenne, and Spencer Culver, from Kansas City, Mo., compiled a record of 5-1 in the preliminary debates over the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Gonzaga University and the University of Texas.

Henman and Culver lost in the quarterfinals on a split decision.

Yumasie Hellebuick, from Salt Lake City, Utah, and Brent Lamb, from Kansas City, Mo., also debated in Tempe. The two UW students won against the University of Southern California, Arizona State and San Francisco State. They missed advancing to the elimination rounds by a single ballot.

Hellebuick and Lamb made it to the Fall Championship, achieving a 3-3 record and claiming victories against California State-Fullerton, Southwestern College and the University of Washington. Again, the two students were one ballot away from advancing to the next round.

Culver and Henman continued strong debating in Seattle, where they beat the University of Washington, Gonzaga University and Southwestern. With a 4-2 record, the seniors moved to the elimination rounds against Gonzaga debaters, whom they defeated.

In the semifinal round, Culver and Henman faced the tournament’s top seed, also from Gonzaga. The Bulldog pair won by a split decision, leaving the UW duo just one ballot short of reaching the final round of the Fall Championship.

UW freshman Bailee Harris, from Cheyenne, and junior Erin Worley, from Cody, had a victory against Southwestern.

The UW debate team is preparing for its next competition, the Texas Two-Step, hosted by the University of Texas-Dallas and the University of North Texas in Dallas in early January.

This semester, the UW debate team hosted three presidential debate watch parties and hosted the University of Pittsburgh in a debate featuring the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan regulations aimed at curbing carbon dioxide emissions.

“As the semester winds down, the Pokes will be building a game plan for next semester’s on-campus programming,” says Travis Cram, director of forensics in the UW Department of Communication and Journalism.

A 2017 Wyoming Debate Alumni Reunion is planned June 10-11; more information will be released at a later date.

“It is far past due for a gathering of debate Pokes in Laramie,” Cram says. “This organization has helped thousands of us throughout the decades, and we share the bond that only time spent in the crucible of debate competition at UW can forge. We are one large, eclectic and bizarre family, and a reunion can help to celebrate that.”

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