Forty-eight college debate teams from across the western states gathered on the campus of Portland State University on Feb. 9 and 10 to compete for first place and three finalist awards in open and novice divisions.
Northwest University brought home two finalist awards.
After five rounds, Calvin Horne (History and Political Science) and Kyle Hamar (Communication) won semi-finals and advanced to the final round on Sunday. Horne and Hamar were the second highest seed out of 48 – after first seeded Claremont College.
Four teams spoke in the final round – wrestling with strategies for strengthening the fragile Egyptian democracy. In a close decision, Claremont College won first place, giving the Northwest team a finalist trophy.
The limited prep time forces debaters to understand a wide range of issues and to be ready to argue both sides of any controversy. Some of the PSU topics included a human mission to Mars, public funding of the arts, domestic abuse, urbanization, and targeted killing of terrorists.
In addition to the win in open division, the Northwest University novice team of Marlene Pierce (Education) and Mikayla Day (History and Political Science) reached novice finals – winning a finalists award and predicting future success in the years to come.
Competing in a pool of 96 of the brightest students in the nation, Eagle debate team captain Calvin Horne ranked as Best Speaker of the tournament. This achievement means that Calvin is recognized as one of the best debaters in the nation.
It was the sixth speaker award for Horne this season – 4th place at Western Washington University, 1st place at Northwest University September tournament, 1st place at Northwest University’s January meet, 5th place at Linfield college and 1st place University of Puget Sound.
Calvin’s partner, senior Kyle Hamar tied for 18th best speaker out of 96.
Marlene Pierce earned 4th best novice speaker.
John Swayne (Communication) earned 9th best novice speaker.
The next tournament for the Eagles will be held at Willamette University, Salem, Oregon on Feb. 23, 24.