Tech Speech and Debate team sponsors inaugural tournament on campus

Speech and Debate team members made strides toward qualifying for several national competitions during the Golden Eagle Speak Up Swing tournament during the weekend of Oct. 12.

The tournament’s central point was the Roaden University Center. Augusta Betterton, speech and debate student, said competitions took place in several buildings throughout campus including Johnson Hall, Henderson Hall and Brown Hall. 

One hundred fifty individuals competed from 15 schools, some of which include Transylvania University, Murray State University and Belmont University.

Jacob Metz, assistant speech and debate coach, said he believes the tournament went well, especially as the first time Tech sponsored it.

“Overall, it was very successful in the sense that we had a fairly large tournament and it ran fairly smoothly.  Those are rather impressive things considering it was our first time hosting the tournament.  It was also highly successful in terms of how well our students fared at the competition,” Metz said.

Dr. Graham Kash, assistant speech and debate coach, agreed the tournament went well. He said the team plans to sponsor the tournament again.

Metz also believes the tournament was a success because it assisted students in meeting essential qualifications for several national championships the team is hoping to attend.

“The competition allowed our students to gain some of the qualifications that are necessary for them to compete at a national tournament.  While no team member has gained all of the necessary qualification yet, there are several students who are much closer to it now,” Metz said.

Madison Davis, 2018 national champion, placed in six competitions. Amanda Smith, speech and debate competitor, placed in 10 events. Abby Norsworthy and Tyler Johnson, speech and debate competitors, also placed in six events each.

Kash said the team is making efforts to attend different national competitions this season. He listed the National Forensic Association, National Parliamentary Debate Association and International Public Debate Association as potential tournaments the team hopes to qualify for. 

“What we’re doing at the moment is just to win all that we can and then look back and see whether we are qualified to go to some of those tournaments that I just mentioned … but that’s a little bit down the road, we can’t say yet,” Kash said.

As the team continues through the season, Kash encourages anyone with any desire to be a part of the team to join.