Belmont Abbey Debate kicked off our 2019-2020 season in a tournament hosted on our campus this weekend! The Queen City Debates welcomed Appalachian State University (NC), the University of the Cumberlands (KY), and Davis and Elkins College (WV) to begin the season with six rounds of IPDA public debate before breaking to octofinals in an open division, along with a semifinal novice breakout division. Approximately 50 people were included in the competition and judging of the event. Our students collectively earned second place for both traditional sweepstakes awards as well as honors to recognize teams with the highest percentage of ballots won in the preliminary rounds. Every student competing for Belmont Abbey was recognized for a top speaker award and/or a top tournament placement during the awards ceremony on Sunday.
In novice, freshman Paloma Shrauder excelled in her first debate tournament by earning fifth place as a top speaker in the category. Bryanna Farmer, a senior competing in her second semester, won first place for novice speaking overall and second place for top novices competing in the open elimination rounds. She concluded the open competition as an octofinalist.
In open, each varsity team member earned winning records in the preliminary rounds. Consequently, 75% of the first elimination rounds included a Belmont Abbey debater. We had three students conclude the tournament as octofinalists: sophomore Blake Traylor, junior Anastasjiah McGriff, and junior Isabelle Robertson. Freshman Zoe Lamborn won her open octofinal round a 3-0 decision, and senior Adrianna Hodges won her octofinal round on a 2-1 decision. Zoe and Adrianna met in the bracket during quarterfinals; Zoe concluded as a quarterfinalist, while Adrianna continued to win semifinals on a 2-1 decision. Adrianna concluded the tournament as second place overall. Both Adrianna and Zoe were recognized as top speakers for the tournament, taking second and third respectively.
Our students represented Belmont Abbey College remarkably well, both as debaters and hosts for our inaugural competition. Given scheduling conflicts and the need to balance student academics, we are replacing the Lafayette College tournament next weekend. We are excited to continue our season at Penn State University in October!