The Northeast State Debate Team hosted their 6th Annual Spring Fling Tournament last week with debaters from Tennessee Tech, East Tennessee State University, Walters State Community College, and Northeast State participated in the event.
The field of 11 teams and 21 debaters argued topics ranging from the advantages of Israel reverting to the 1967 pre-war borders to school choice in the United States educational system.
The tournament consisted of three preliminary rounds, a semi-final round and a final round. Northeast State Debate Team members Sydney Crowder, Britny Fox, Rocky Graybeal, and Anne Rowell represented Northeast State. Graybeal and Rowell won all three of their preliminary rounds earning a place in the semifinal round. Crowder and Fox won two of their three preliminary rounds and also earned a spot in the semifinal round.
In the semifinal round Graybeal and Rowell fell to the eventual tournament winners from Tennessee Tech. They earned the 3rd place team trophy. Crowder and Fox took home the 4th place trophy. Crowder was also named the 2nd place Best Speaker of the tournament while Fox earned 3rd place in the category.
Northeast State debater Jordan Warhurst also competed as part of a hybrid team with ETSU. He earned a second place speaker ranking in his first round.
Speech professor Dr. Rick Merritt praised all the competitors, tournament director Beth Ross, as well as faculty colleagues Professor Cate Strain and Dr. Laura Barnett who served as tournament judges. He also thanked tournament supporters Carrie Keys, Speech department colleague Dr. Ruth Livingston, event caterer extraordinaire Maureen Merritt, and Behavioral and Social Sciences division dean, Dr. Xiaoping Wang.
“I would like to extend a huge blanket of thanks to all of these fine individuals,” said Merritt. “All these individuals are very supportive of our team and play major roles in our success.”