USU Speech and Debate Team Earns Third Place at Tournament

The Utah State University Speech and Debate team competed in Salt Lake City at a tournament hosted jointly by the University of Texas at El Paso and the University of Utah on Jan. 17-18, earning third place overall. 

“The college forensics community in Utah is small but mighty, and it is always a pleasure to compete so close to our own home turf,” said Coach Chantelle Gossner. “Last weekend was a wonderful opportunity to see familiar faces and get more experience as we ramp up for nationals in March.”

During the first half of the tournament, which was administered by the University of Texas at El Paso, USU students showed off their impressive speech talents. Aggies dominated in Persuasive Speaking, with Utah State speakers composing half of the final round. Senior communication studies student Kaleb Webb earned second, senior communication studies student Rachael Teare scored fourth and senior communication studies and print journalism major Naomi Ward received fifth. In Informative Speaking, Ward received fourth place and Teare received fifth. In Communication Analysis, junior political science major Bryn Voigt took fifth place. Freshman creative writing and psychology major Amrutha Obulasetty earned third place in Program Oral Interpretation. Finally, in IPDA-style debate, senior Sam Hendricks received second place.

The University of Utah half of the swing tournament brought more awards for the Aggie debaters, with Obulasetty taking first place in Program Oral Interpretation and senior journalism student Ammon Teare receiving a third place speaking award and a semifinalist award in IPDA debate.

Gossner explains that the team is looking forward to finishing out their competitive season at the Pi Kappa Delta national tournament in San Diego this March. 

“The team has done beautifully this season in terms of both breadth and depth, and we can’t wait to showcase our skills in competition with schools from across the country this spring,” Gossner said.