Texas Tech Debaters Score at Five Tournaments in September, October

After competing in three early-season tournaments this September, the Texas Tech Speech and Debate Team has placed among the top 20 parliamentary debate schools nationwide.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: Nov. 3, 2006
CONTACT: John Davis, john.w.davis@ttu.edu
(806) 742-2136

LUBBOCK – After competing in three early-season tournaments this September, the Texas Tech Speech and Debate Team has placed among the top 20 parliamentary debate schools nationwide.

The team attended a tournament Sept. 16-17 in Cheyenne, Wyo., two more tournaments Sept. 22-24 in both Liberty, Mo., and San Marcos, a tournament Oct. 20-22 in Omaha, Nebraska, and a tournament Oct. 27-29 in Colorado Springs, CO.

During these tournaments, Tech debaters defeated teams that include Carroll College, Rice University, the University of Wyoming, the University of Utah, Willamette University, the United States Air Force Academy, the University of Missouri, the University of Notre Dame, Southern Illinois University, and Western Kentucky University. Tech finished in fourth place as a squad at both the Omaha and Colorado Springs tournaments.

“I could not be prouder of where we are at this point,” said Joe Gantt, instructor in Communication Studies and the director of the speech and debate program. “Our returning members have all had extremely impressive showings, and the newcomers to our team have already raised the bar for our expectations. We’re working hard, and the results bear that out.”

Standout debaters include:

Top of the Rockies in Cheyenne, Wyo.

• Vamsi Vemuru, a senior political science major from Odessa; Tim West, a senior communication studies major from Amarillo; Jacob Parks, a senior English and philosophy major from Midland; and Michael Mitchell, a junior electrical engineering and computer science major from Lamesa; advanced to the championship rounds of the varsity division of parliamentary debate, tying for 17th place out of 58 teams.

• In the junior varsity division of parliamentary debate, Nicole Brown, a freshman pre-law major from San Angelo, and Andy Reay, a junior chemical engineering major from Albuquerque, finished in ninth place. Dustin Dempsey, a freshman political science major from San Angelo, and Sarah Saunders, a freshman political science major from Lubbock, placed 17th in the junior varsity parliamentary debate.

• Brown placed fourth and Reay placed 13th with individual honors out of 92 debaters.

• Brian Horton, a freshman political science major from San Angelo, won his first collegiate tournament in After-Dinner Speaking.

Show-Me Invitational in Liberty, Mo.

• Anthony Putnicki, a junior philosophy major from El Paso, and Kristen Owen, a junior economics major from Houston, placed second in the invitation-only Cardinal Classic Round Robin, cementing their place as one of the nation’s elite debating teams.

• Putnicki and Owen placed fifth in the open debate tournament.

• Overall, Owen placed sixth and West placed 12th as best speaker of 112 debaters.

Hill Country Swing in San Marcos

• Erin Wyatt, a senior communication studies major from El Paso, advanced to the final rounds in Communication Analysis; and Amador Juarez, a senior communication studies major from Laredo, advanced to the final rounds of Dramatic Interpretation.

Nebraska Double-Up in Omaha, Neb.

• Putnicki and Owen were the top team in the tournament in preliminary competition, earning individual honors of fifth best speaker and eighth best speaker. They finished tied for ninth best team out of a field of 46.

• Putnicki placed first in Impromptu speaking, Juarez finished first in Program Oral Interpretation and Horton finished third in Informative Speaking, the top finishes among twelve TTU students who advanced to final rounds.

James A. “Al” Johnson Invitational in Colorado Springs, Colo.

• Putnicki and Owen continued their success by finishing 17th out of a field of 78 debate teams. Putnicki was named the 8th best speaker at the tournament out of 156 speakers.
• Brown and Peter Wood, a freshman from Abilene, placed ninth in the junior varsity division of parliamentary debate, as Wood was named the 13th best speaker and Brown 18th.

• Horton placed second in Informative Speaking and third in After-Dinner Speaking.



The squad will participate at the Cameron Christmas Classic, to be held in Lawton, OK, Dec 1-3.

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CONTACT: Joseph J. Gantt, director of forensics, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-1328, joe.gantt@ttu.edu.