Texas Tech Debate Team Still in Top Position Nationally Following ‘Springs Swing’

Following a tournament held last weekend, a debate team pair holds the best record in the nation.

Following a tournament held last weekend at Colorado College, a pair from the Texas Tech University debate team holds the best record in the nation. After winning the Springs Swing in Colorado Springs, Colo., Brian Horton, a senior political science, French and geography major from San Angelo, and Adam Testerman, a junior mass communications major from Springfield, Mo., have won 36 debates and lost only four. The Springs Swing consists of two debate tournaments in a three-day span. Horton and Testerman were favorites to win both tournaments, but illness prevented them from completing the first tournament despite winning their first three debates. At the second tournament, however, they returned to the field and won 10 consecutive debates to claim the victory, defeating teams from Lewis & Clark College, the University of Wyoming and the U.S. Air Force Academy before winning the final debate round against a team from William Jewell College. “We’re continuing a very strong season of debate at Texas Tech,” said Joe Gantt, debate team coach and director of forensics. “I was proud of Brian and Adam for battling through the disappointment of illness in the first tournament to win the second tournament in such a dominating fashion. Testerman was named the top individual speaker at the tournament, while Horton was right behind as the second place speaker. Other Texas Tech varsity teams added strong performances for the entire program. Senior political science major Nicole Brown of San Angelo and senior mass communications major Paul Williamson of Crosby finished in the top 10 teams at the first tournament and in the top five teams at the second tournament. Sophomore communication studies major Lauran Schaefer of Sonora and sophomore political science major Cameron Harris of Houston finished among the top ten teams at the first tournament. Texas Tech also excelled at the junior varsity level of competition. In the first tournament, the team sophomore English major Alexandria Newsom of Forsan and freshman communication studies major J.T. Seymore of Holliday “closed-out” the tournament with the Texas Tech team of freshman mechanical engineering major Matt Pippen of Monahans and sophomore political science major Sean Riegert of Houston. A “close-out” occurs when the two finalist teams are from the same school; thus, the two Texas Tech teams tied for first place. These teams were advanced to the varsity division for the second tournament, opening the door for the junior varsity team of junior political science major Jacob Jones of Hamilton and junior political science major Libbie Richards of Midland to win second place at the second tournament. It was Jones and Richards’ first weekend competing in collegiate debate. “Nicole, Paul, Lauran and Cameron continue to make strides to establish themselves as top pairs, and all of our junior varsity debaters keep showing us at every tournament that it will not be long until they are winning at the varsity level,” Gantt said. “It is an exciting time to be part of Texas Tech debate.” As a whole, Texas Tech was named the top debate squad at both of the tournaments. Texas Tech competes in parliamentary debate, a format of debate which changes topics in every debate round. During the weekend, Texas Tech debaters addressed issues such as Internet regulation, immigration reform, U.S. policy in Africa, and protection of the Arctic Circle. Texas Tech debate is housed in the Department of Communication Studies. The team next travels this weekend to a tournament held at the University of California at Berkeley. For more information on Texas Tech debate, please contact Director of Forensics Joe Gantt at 806-742-1328 or joe.gantt@ttu.edu. CONTACT: Joseph J. Gantt, director of forensics, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-1328, or joe.gantt@ttu.edu.