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Debate, forensics teams sweep February tournaments

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
March 2, 2011

The LBJ Debate Society and the Elton Abernathy Forensics Society, the two competitive speech and debate teams at Texas State University-San Marcos, had a banner February as they warm up for the national tournaments in March.

In early February, the teams won first place overall sweepstakes at the Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association (TIFA) State Championships. At the tournament Samin Agha, a senior political science major from Houston, qualified for the Interstate Oratory Association (IOA) National Tournament. Only two students from each state are selected to compete at the IOA. Other outstanding performances at the TIFA tournament included Ryan Herrera, a senior political science major from San Antonio, and Shanna Schultz, a junior political science major from Houston, who were finalists in parliamentary debate. Taryn Parker, a junior communication design major from Longview, was the tournament champion in prose interpretation and poetry interpretation. Brett Gray, a sophomore communication studies major from Houston was the tournament champion in dramatic interpretation. The team took first place debate sweepstakes and second place individual event sweepstakes on their way to the overall tournament title. Four Bobcats were named to the All-Tournament Squad including: Luis Baez, a senior political science major from Houston; Laura Driver, a senior geography major from Portland, Brandon McCasland, a junior communication studies major from Bay City; and Shanna Schultz.

At the University of Houston tournament, Feb. 18-20, Texas State again took first place sweepstakes, beating out Arizona State, LSU, Houston and Wiley College among others. With first place showings by Brianne Giese, a junior communication studies major from Houston, in persuasion and extemporaneous speaking; Taryn Parker in prose; and Jaysin Spradley, a senior communication studies major from Boling, in dramatic interpretation

On Feb. 25, three Bobcats placed 1-2-3 at the Battle of Flowers Oratorical Contest in San Antonio. Sponsored by the Battle of Flowers Association this tournament is the second oldest oratorical contest in the United States. The theme for the contest was, “Texas Wildcatters.” Chelsea McClure Velasquez, a senior communication studies major from San Antonio, won first place with her speech on William Alvin “Monty” Montcrief. She received $2,500 for the winning speech. Fallon Hopper, a junior communication studies major from Searcy, Ark., was second and Luis Baez was third. McClure will deliver her speech at the association’s annual luncheon and also ride in the Battle of Flowers parade during Fiesta in San Antonio.

Also this past weekend the debate team took first place debate sweepstakes at the Del Mar College “Speech on the Beach Tournament” in Corpus Christi. The team of Shanna Schultz and Joseph Flores, a junior political science major from Houston, won the tournament title.

National tournaments are up next for the team and include the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament in Portland, Ore.; the U.S. Universities Debate Championships in Burlington, Vt.; the American Forensics Association-National Individual Events Tournament in Kearney, Neb.; and the National Forensics Association National Tournament in Normal, Ill.

For more information, contact Wayne Kraemer at (512) 245-2331.