Speech and Debate Students Show Their Depth at Region's Largest Tournament

In competition at the Northwest region’s largest speech and debate tournament, Utah State University Speech and Debate gained three sweepstakes trophies and earned all top three slots in the senior debate division.

The Oct. 12-14 competition of 33 colleges and universities, held at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore., featured what Coach Tom Worthen described as “the largest team USU has had in recent years.” His conclusion, after seeing the team in action, is that the team members “show a lot of depth,” he said. 

“We have competent students who are showing they are the best in the Northwest in every division of competition,” he said. “It is a joy to coach these students.” 

In the tournament’s debate sweepstakes, USU came in second place, just three points behind Pacific Lutheran University of Tacoma, Wash., said Worthen. 

Sam Hendricks and Tanner Petersen closed out the final round of senior debate in their respective divisions, finishing in first and second places. Kaleb Webb and Chantelle Gossner finished as semifinalists, with Jaydin Lowry as a quarterfinalist. Darius Reddersen, Ammon Teare, Rachel McDonald, Zoe Hall and Naomi Ward finished in the top eight. 

Receiving speaker awards in novice were Teare (first), Reddersen (third) and  Lowry (seventh). In junior speaker awards, Webb placed fifth and Hall placed eighth. In the senior division, Gossner was third, Hendricks fifth and Petersen ninth.

The USU team took third place in speech sweepstakes. In novice persuasive speaking,  Reddersen, McDonald and Teare placed second, third and fourth, respectively. In informative speaking, Reddersen placed first, Teare third and McDonald fifth. 

Petersen placed second in senior extemporaneous speaking and third in open impromptu speaking. Gossner placed third in senior persuasive speaking, with Lowry placing fourth in junior impromptu speaking. In senior duo interpretation, Petersen and Carsyn Endres ended in third place. 
 “What sets Utah State apart from other colleges is that everyone contributes to team points,” said senior Petersen. “Our percentage of competitors who break is much higher than any other school.”


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