Speech & Debate
Speech and Debate Team 2010
PLNU Speech and Debate Team Fall 2009 Semester Highlights
This fall semester, PLNU’s Speech and Debate team has met with continued success. They have recently earned the top spot in the country as the National Parliamentary Debate Associations #1 team in the national sweepstake race. The beginning of the year started out with a larger team than previous years, with numerous freshman recruits and transfer students joining our debate family, and PLNU alum Angela Compton, Joel Day, Jordon Cherry and Chris Gutierrez staying for another year, this time as coaches. Despite a larger team competing, increasing travel costs, and strained budget concerns, PLNU has again proved to be one of the most competitive teams in the nation.
Barbara Gausewitz and Ciera Wilson started the year off running at the first tournament at El Camino College, and were awarded a Certificate of Superiority for going undefeated in the tournament.
The next month marked the start of the national debate season, with tournaments at Concordia University and Azusa Pacific University. At Concordia, PLNU competed with 37 colleges from around the country. All eight PLNU teams (16 competitors) advanced to elimination rounds, which is a rare accomplishment for any school, especially one of our size.
Three of the four final teams were from PLNU: Danielle Lawson and Ashley Nuckels, Caitlyn Burford, and Mac Andrews, and Katie Lucas and Daniel Nadal. In a semi-final round against Air Force University (then ranked #1 in the nation), Caitlyn Burford and Mac Andrews won, resulting in a closeout for PLNU.
At Azusa Pacific University, our novices Andrew Shalin and Michelle Diaz won gold medals, along with Katie Lucas and Daniel Nadal, who competed in the final round. The team won third place in overall tournament sweepstakes.
This busy month kept the team occupied with three consecutive tournaments. At University of the Pacific, PLNU sent its top five teams, with four advancing to elimination rounds.
After placing fourth in overall sweepstakes, every one of the students competing went home with a trophy for making it to final rounds in speech events.
The next weekend was spent at an Irvine Valley College, where Mac Andrews and Caitlyn Burford, and Danielle Lawson and Ashley Knuckles earned gold medals.
A handful of novice teams from the debate class also had the chance to compete and four teams earned bronze medals, while William Koon and Michael Morris earned silver medals.
At Grossmont College the following weekend, PLNU had its best showing yet. In two consecutive tournaments that weekend, PLNU won first place in overall sweepstakes.
In speech, Danielle Lawson and Kelsey Masters won first place in Duo Interpretation. Ashley Nuckles won second place in Extemporaneous Speaking, Impromptu, and Persuasion, for three hard-earned awards. Kim Jensen, Katie Lucas, Isaiah King, Daniel Nadal, and Barbara Gausewitz also competed in final speech rounds.
In debate, Ashley and Danielle won gold medals, Daniel and Katy took silver, while Caitlyn and Mac, and Ian Sharples and Grant Beeson took home the bronze.
In the last tournament of the semester, the fall championship tournament of our district, PLNU again took first place in sweepstakes, in a competition between 40 colleges and universities.
Katie and Daniel, and Ashley and Danielle earned gold medals, while Grant and Ian, and Ben Powers and James Wilson earned silver, and Barbara and Ciera took bronze medals.
Ian Sharples earned a bronze medal in individual Lincoln Douglas debate and Ashley Nuckels took home trophies in multiple speech event finals. Most of the team qualified for final rounds.
As the team gears up for a busy and competitive spring semester, they will work to maintain their number one spot. Individually, four of PLNU’s senior teams are in the top 50 two-person teams nationwide and will attempt to qualify for various national tournaments. With three national tournaments this spring, the team continues to rely on hard work, support from friends and alumni, and the grace of God for continued success.
-Caitlyn Burford, Class of 2010, Team President