Three William Jewell teams traveled to the Pacific Northwest for the first time in four years and did not disappoint. While competing at the Lewis & Clark College tournament on October 13-14 in Portland, Ore., all three Jewell teams advanced to the elimination round bracket and five of the six debaters won speaker awards.
Over 50 teams from across the country competed. Jewell’s team of Stephen Ahal (sophomore, Chesterfield) and Rosemary Loehr (junior, Kansas City) placed in the top 20. Kyle Mellon (senior, Norman, Okla.) and Matt Reisener (senior, Indianola, Iowa) placed seventh. The team of Spencer Shanks (junior, Kearney) and Tyler White (senior, Independence) advanced to the Championship Round and lost narrowly to a team from Texas Tech University, placing second at the tournament.
Out of the 106 individual debaters, five Jewell debaters placed in the top 20 speakers. White was the 16th speaker, Ahal, 13th speaker, Shanks, 6th speaker, Mellon, 5th speaker, and Reisener was the Individual Speaker Tournament Champion.
“Traveling to a different region means we faced an uphill battle, not having a full sense of our competition and judges. However, the debaters did not let the challenge deter them and they stepped up,” said Kevin Garner, director of debate and instructor of communication. “Success like this bodes well for the remainder of the season.”
Over the weekend, Jewell defeated teams from Whitman College, University of Oregon, Texas Tech University and Western Washington University, among others.
Prior to traveling to Portland, the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence released its first rankings of the season. Despite only one weekend of competition, Jewell has three teams ranked in the Top 35 out of over 200 teams nationally. Shanks and White ranked 34th, Ahal and Loehr ranked 33rd, and Mellon and Reisener, 12th in the nation.