Debate Team Earns Decisive Win

by Public Relations Office - Cedarville, OH

Cedarville, Ohio-The Cedarville University Debate Team won first place in parliamentary debate at the recent Hollatz-Larson Debates at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Ill. The team decisively defeated approximately 20 other college and university teams, including the nationally recognized debate teams of Loyola University, Notre Dame, Point Loma Nazarene University, and Purdue.

In junior debate, Cedarville took all five top team awards and nine out of the top 10 speaking awards. Top performances were led by freshmen John Cooper (Greenwood, S.C.) and Geneva Wilgus (Phippsburg, Maine), who paired together to take second place in the team awards and won first and second place in the individual speaking categories, respectively. Sophomores Christen Price (Beavercreek, Ohio) and Isaac Mayeux (Washington, Pa.) teamed up to win first place in junior team debate. Two other teams, Laura Austin (Chester, Va.) with Mike Ruckman (Mount Vernon, Ohio) and Michael Shirzadian (Westerville, Ohio) with Pamela Eustace (Beavercreek, Ohio) made it to the semifinalist round. Ruckman also placed third in the junior speaking awards.

Also contributing to the win were Cedarville’s senior debaters, taking two of the top eight team awards and four of the top eight speaking awards. Two pairs, Emily Van Vliet (Rochester, Minn.) with Joe Dugan (Dearborn, Mich.) and Courtney Edmonds (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) with Mark Miller (Chesterland, Ohio), advanced to the quarterfinals. Van Vliet won third place in the individual speaking category.

The debate team is coached by Dr. Rebecca Sietman, who is an assistant professor of communication arts. She noted, “Some of the best debate teams in the country attended this tournament, so we knew it would be a tough, competitive tournament. This was by far our most significant first-place win of the 2006-2007 debate season. I am really pleased with the team effort put forth by my students.”