Student becomes Tech’s first national debate champion

Political science major Madison Davis became the first Tech student to win first place at a national tournament.

Davis joined the team in Spring 2018, initially participating exclusively in individual events. Last semester, she started debating in the novice division, reserved for those that are participating in competitions for the first year.

"I couldn't have gotten here without the help of my partner, my team and my coach," Davis said. "I owe my entire debate career to them and for that I'm thankful."

Earlier this semester, Davis and her debate partner, Derrick Sarmiento, won the Tennessee state championship.

The pair reached semifinals, where they were defeated by a team from Carson Newman, who won the national championship. Regardless, Davis' performance during the initial rounds gave her almost perfect scores in speaking, which led to the first place award in her division.

Davis and Sarmiento will compete in two more tournaments in Tennessee this school year.