This past weekend the Seawolf Debate Program sent three teams to Washington, D.C., to compete at the George Washington University Invitational debate tournament on behalf of the University of Alaska Anchorage. Two of those teams vaulted into the top four spots over a field of 48 teams to earn finalist awards as well as individual speaker awards.
The GWU Invitational drew a competitive field with schools from all corners of the U.S., including teams from John Hopkins, Duke, New York University and Morehouse College. Facing tough competition on a wide range of topics, including the Syrian crisis and colonization on Mars should life be found, the Seawolf Debate teams sailed through the pack.
At the end of five preliminary rounds of debate, the team of Johanna Richter & Jonathon Taylor were ranked 11th, Matthieu Ostrander & Jacob Shercliffe ranked sixth, and Sarah Elton & Sam Erickson ranked fourth, earning all three teams a spot in the quarterfinal round. Ultimately it was Elton, Erickson, Ostrander and Shercliffe who would advance to represent UAA in the final round against Patrick Henry College and University of Vermont. (Watch a video of Seawolf Debate competing in the final round.) Although the champion title was eventually awarded to Patrick Henry College, our debaters distinguished themselves as individual speakers. Of the 96 speakers in attendance, Sarah Elton’s scores placed her ninth and Jonathon Taylor’s placed him fourth.
The weekend tournament was by all measures a great success, and bodes well for the Seawolf Debate Program as we eye our final two tournaments of the fall semester: the Seattle University Invitational in early December and the World Universities Debating Championship in Thessaloniki, Greece in late December.