The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TR debaters score high marks at first tournament

By Andrew Brenner/reporter

TR Campus’ team placed first out of 15 teams in the debate category, and third in the overall sweepstakes at the fifth annual Newly New Newbie Novice Tournament.

NE Campus’ forensics team hosted the tournament Sept. 23, competing against 11 schools from Texas and Louisiana.

In the parliamentary debate competition, TR students Jon Sims and Stephanie Darnell placed first. Fellow TR students Kristin Taylor and David Ross were also semifinalists in this category.

“I’m really proud of the team,” Taylor said. “We did really well as a whole.”

TR has been competing in debate for only two years, and speech instructor and forensics director Phillip Morgan said the team has set high expectations for the rest of the season.

“I’m really excited that they’re picking it up so quickly,” he said. “They certainly showed me they’re fast learners.”

In individual events, Sims took first place in extemporaneous speaking. TR student Katie Hurrell placed sixth in programmed oral interpretation, which incorporates two genres of literature into a central-themed speech.

In the informative speaking category, NE students Alexander Alatorre and Rafael Gonzalez placed fourth and sixth, respectively.

In all categories, competitors received speaker points based on how well they did. Out of the 15 debating teams, Taylor was awarded the most points to secure the title of top speaker in the novice tournament.

When she found out she had won the award, Taylor said she was shocked but proud. The first thing she thought was, “My dad’s going to be so proud,” she said.

Though the Novice Tournament was judged and scored as a real speech contest, this annual competition serves as a learning experience for students who are new to forensics, said Lisa Benedetti, associate professor of speech and forensics team coach.

“It was created to give novice competitors a protected environment for their first competition,” she said.

This tournament is meant for those students who have never competed in collegiate speech and debate.

“It was my first experience with any forensic activity,” Alatorre said. “I had no idea what to expect.”

Alatorre said he was nervous at first, but after his second round, he found out he made it to the finals in informative speaking.

“I’ve given speeches in class, but it’s completely different on a competitive level,” he said.

The next tournament for TR and NE forensic teams will be Oct. 23 in Louisiana.

“I see all of us competing at nationals, and I see all of us winning at nationals,” Taylor said.


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