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PLNU Speech and Debate maintain national third-place ranking

PLNU’s Speech and Debate team has continued to hold its third place national ranking in back-to-back tournaments over the past few weekends.

Forty-two schools from across the nation attended the 2015 Sunset Cliffs Classic speech and debate tournament hosted by PLNU two weeks ago.

“This tournament is one of the biggest of the year,” said senior political science major Frank Daniel, president of the PLNU debate team. “It lets schools and teams from all over the U.S. participate in one of the most competitive tournaments of the year.”

In total, 149 teams from 42 schools competed, with PLNU’s squad adding five teams to the mix. The rest of PLNU’s 25-member team helped with the tournament.

“It was nice helping make the staff’s job easier,” said freshman political science major Montana Massone. “It was great meeting all these judges from around the country.”

PLNU had a strong showing, with most of the teams advancing to the next rounds.

“Four of our five teams entered advanced to the elimination rounds in Parliamentary Debate,” said Director of Forensics, Skip Rutledge. “Students nicknamed it ‘the bloodbath by the beach’ many years ago because of the intense competition.”

The first weekend of February had PLNU’s Speech and Debate team competing at home, while last week they were across the nation, in Washington, D.C. at the American Enterprise Institute.

The tournament, sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and Colorado Christian University (CCU), had over a dozen schools participating in this first trial run of the tournament. AEI and CCU were excited to offer a brand new tournament and provided scholarships to schools based on distance traveled.

“It’s a lot smaller than the Sunset Cliffs tournament,” said sophomore literature major Caleb Moore. “The weather is also drastically different. When we got to D.C., the wind felt like getting snow thrown in your face.”

PLNU sent two senior division and one novice division team to attend and support this new tournament. Members of the team debated the economy and how different policies might impact the future of American jobs and business.

“I’ve learned more about economics than I ever wanted to,” said Moore.

Spring semester marks the busy part of the season, with Spring Regional Championships, the National Christian College Forensics Institute’s championship, the National Parliamentary Debate Association’s championship and the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence, all in different parts of the U.S.

This week, PLNU’s debate team will compete in the Spring Regional Championships at Moorpark College, marking the third straight tournament in a row for the squad.

“I’m expecting good things for Spring Championships,” said senior international studies major Kasey Graves. “Loma will do great and have several teams advance to elimination rounds.”

Disclosure: Nick Kjeldgaard is a member of the debate team. He competed in these tournaments with his debate partner, Kasey Graves.