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PLNU finds some wins at debate tournament


The two on-campus debate tournaments proved the success of PLNU’s de- bate team on Valentine’s Day weekend.

PLNU hosted two debate tournaments on campus. The PLNU Round Robin on Friday hosted top qualifying Parliamentary Debate teams from across the country.

The second tournament, titled “The Sunset Cliffs Classic Invitational” and known as “The Bloodbath at the Beach,” went on Saturday and Sunday.

Senior and President of the Debate Team Brandon West received an award and recognition for top speaker at the tournament.

“Point Loma put on an amazing tournament that hosted teams from all over the country,” said West. “Multiple teams from Point Loma advanced into outrounds, and in the preceding Round Robin: Tournament of Champions on Friday, our own team advanced to the final round.”

The PLNU Round Robin Tournament of Champions lasted for more than twelve hours on Friday.

This specific tournament invited the top ten qualifying Parliamentary Debate teams to compete in a condensed pool of debaters.

Ten teams competed with one alternate including Biola University, Califor- nia State University of Long Beach, Concordia Irvine, El Camino College, Grand Canyon University, Mercer University, Northern Arizona University, University of the Pacific, and University of Utah.

PLNU’s top team competed in the Round Robin all day, winning three out of four preliminary rounds. PLNU senior Brandon West and Junior Caleb

Moore competed in a final round against Mercer College and lost on a 2-3 decision.

This is the first time since the founding of this tournament that a Point Loma team made it to the final round in this tournament.

The Sunset Cliffs Invitation functioned differently from the Round Robin.

This tournament held a much greater field of competitors. Teams from universities such as UCLA, UCSD, UOP, Palomar Community College and a few others joined the field. The tournament used topics on resolutions retrieved from President Obama’s State of the Union address for the debate portion of the tournament.

This tournament facilitated Individual Events like Impromptu, After Dinner Speaking, and Communication Analysis. Three PLNU teams broke or qualified to elimination rounds in this tournament. PLNU junior Mackenzie Leveque and senior Autumn Shultz lost on a 2-1 decision during Double Octofinals to Mercer University.

PLNU junior Nick Kjeldgaard and junior Thomas Routson lost in the Octofinals. Brandon West and Caleb Moore dropped in quarterfinals.

Another portion of this tournament occurred in the Lincoln Douglas Debate event. Four PLNU debaters made it to elimination rounds and Routson made it to the final round in this event.

PLNU both competed and in and host this tournament.

Team members competed in Parliamentary Debate and Lincoln Douglas Debate and they also judged rounds, volunteered to tabulate ballots and per- formed other tasks to ensure the running of the two tournaments.

Debate Coach Ashley Knuckles Cuevas attributes the team’s success to the hard work they put into the activity during the week.

“We do a lot of practice rounds, watch the news, conduct specified re- search and write specialized research papers called briefs on specific topics,” Cuevas said.

PLNU recognized their coaching staff during the awards ceremony.

Lorina Shrauger, assistant director of forensics, received an honorary award for her service at the school. The tournament director specifically mentioned her unique participation in running the weekend long tournament.

The next on campus debate tournament will be held on campus the week- end before Spring Break.

Mackenzie Leveque is a staff writer for The Point, and Autumn Shultz is the Arts & Entertainment editor for The Point.



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