Written by: Christy Hammett
The Texas Tech Speech and Debate team began its 2007-2008 season with a dominating
performance at two parliamentary debate tournaments held Sept. 14-16 at the University
Director Joe Gantt said he is hopeful for a good season. The team received a fourth-place
ranking based upon their performance at the national tournament in March, but Gantt
is hopeful that the team will be No.1 in the nation this year.
"I expect the students will be winning tournaments consistently and will be a prime
contender for the national championship in March." Gantt said.
Texas Tech’s senior debaters Anthony Putnicki, from El Paso, and Mike Mitchell, from
Lamesa debated in the Boot and Spur Round Robin, open only to six elite teams among
dozens of applicants. Putnicki and Mitchell won each of their five debates, defeating
teams from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Northern Arizona University, Rice University,
the University of Oregon and the University of Wyoming. Texas Tech’s undefeated record
earned them the championship of the Round Robin, and Mitchell was named as the 2nd
best individual speaker at the tournament.
Texas Tech’s teams reach even greater heights with a championship at one of the largest
debate tournaments in the nation, the Top of the Rockies Invitational. The team of
Putnicki and senior Kristen Owen from Houston won all seven of their preliminary debates
and were the only team out of the field of 54 teams from across the nation to do so.
They continued their strong performance with five consecutive wins in elimination
rounds, earning the tournament championship with a win over a team from Washburn University
in the final round. Owen and Putnicki also were honored as two of the top twelve individual
speakers out of 108 competitors. The championship was Texas Techs first in a major
parliamentary debate tournament since 2003.
Additionally, junior Brett Delaney from Casper, Wyoming, won 2nd place in After-Dinner
Speaking, and freshmen Jordan Eicher and Patrick Isenberg from San Antonio finished
among the top 10 teams in the junior varsity division.
The Speech and Debate Team will resume its season Sept. 21-23 with a tournament to
be held at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo.
CONTACT: Joe Gantt, Director of Forensics, Texas Tech University, (806)742-1328 or