Friday, June 21, 2024

LSUS Debate claims two individual titles, finishes the season third nationally

by BPT Staff
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After a strong showing at the International Public Debate Association National Championships this past weekend at Mississippi State University, the LSUS Debate team finished the season ranked third overall.

The debate tandem of Cameron Thoele and CJ Longino claimed a team debate national championship for total points awarded this season after the pair finished as double octofinalists at the national championships. Thoele was named a team national champion speaker while his partner Longino was awarded a runner-up speaker award, which is a separate category from team debate.

Thoele and Longino actually tied for the national speaker title with the championship awarded on a tiebreaker.

Those championships highlighted an overall fourth-place finish from LSUS at the national tournament.

Seven of LSUS’s 16 debaters reached the elimination rounds with an additional four debaters missing the elimination rounds in the last regular debate session.

“The national tournament is a grueling marathon with 12-hour days over four days, but these kids never missed a beat and never complained,” said LSUS debate coach AJ Edwards. “All they did was have fun, and when it was over, all they did was shed tears.

“It was awesome to see how CJ celebrated Cameron when they announced Cameron was the winner after announcing CJ as runner-up. And it’s that way with teams cheering on other teams as well – the bond that debaters form no matter which school you compete for is a real strength of the IPDA organization and format.”

The national competition featured 49 collegiate teams with more than 300 total debaters spread out over the novice, junior varsity, varsity and professional divisions. It’s the largest national competition that IPDA has ever had in its 27-year history.

Three novice debaters logged top 10 finishes this season as Addison Jacobsen (second), Heidi Tyler (third place), and Emily Dowd (ninth place). Jacobsen also claimed the 10th-place speaker.

At the junior varsity level, Chloe Fresne came in 10th while Bailey claimed fourth-place speaker.

Megan Veilleux won fourth place in the professional division, which is for graduate students.

At the national tournament itself, LSUS scored valuable points in each division.

In addition to Thoele/Longino, the team of Jacobsen and Micah Robinson advanced to the semifinals.

In novice, Abby Zanoni was a triple octofinalist with Tyler, Jacobsen and Dowd all getting to the double octofinal round.

Jacobsen also claimed the 10th-place speaker award.

In junior varsity, Robinson went to the double octofinals.

Longino advanced to the triple octofinals at the varsity level.

Tommy James pushed the furthest in individual debate with a semifinals appearance at the professional level.

A key aspect of LSUS’s success is support from the administration and the LSUS Foundation.

“There are a lot of schools, big-name schools that struggle to travel tournaments because they don’t have the same support that we do here at LSUS,” Edwards said. “None of this is possible without that support, and we’re incredibly grateful for value that LSUS places on debate.”

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