Macken Debate Team Wins First Place for Small Schools

After three days and over 41 hours of tournament competition the Pat Kennedy Memorial Invitational, hosted by the University of the Pacific, has come to its completion where the competitors of the Macken Debate & Speech team won the First Place Sweepstakes award for Small Schools. For the second year in a row this was the largest tournament of the Fall 2015 Semester with over 100 competitors representing 35 schools from 8 states.

To determine the winner of the sweepstakes awards the success of each schools' speech competitors and debate competitors are calculated and schools are ranked in order of their success.  Without a single point attempted in the speech category the team earned this accomplishment with a feat of strength by winning the award based on debate points alone. After fielding two teams in the Varsity division and two teams in the Junior Varsity division every success counted towards this win.

Newcomer and Freshman Maya Szafraniec helped to lead the team by winning 2nd place speaker in the JV division joining her partner Andrei Satchalin who took 9th place speaker. While in her first collegiate tournament the partnership advanced to elimination rounds as the 5th seed earning them a free win in Octofinals. After a great start and a chance to debate in the elite eight Szafraniec and Satchalin were defeated 2-1. 

Seniors Carmen Terlaje and Miranda Rowley continued their streak of advancing to elimination rounds at tournaments to four for the year. Terlaje and Rowley made it to the sweet 16 where they lost 2-1 adding this tournament to their streak from last year. They have advanced to elimination rounds for the 13th consecutive time in two years, including 2 different annual national tournaments. Their success at this tournament completes the qualification process for a First Round Bid to the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence (NPTE), the invitation only national tournament, signifying their stature at the top of national competition while punctuating their rank of 20th in the nation.

The Senior/Freshman team of Samantha Edmondo and Elisa Rapadas also advanced to elimination rounds with a record of 4-2. Edmondo and Rapadas faced excellent competition helping to land them in the round of 32 where they did not advance. This places them significantly closer to qualify to the NPTE, too.

A strong showing was made by Sophomore Travis Root and Freshman Luke Perez where they went 3-3 in the JV division and missed advancing to elimination rounds on points. This was Perez's first debate tournament ever and second week on the team, exemplifying Root's leadership and his own ability to rise to the occasion.

The team's next engagement is traveling to the National Communication Association national conference November 19-22.  Last Spring, Carmen Terlaje was elected the National Student Representative of the National Parliamentary Debate Association where she is expected to speak on behalf of 1,000's of students from all 50 states.

Matthew Swanson
Adj. Professor, Department of Communication
Director of Forensics, Macken Debate & Speech Team