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This item originally appeared in the April 22, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.


Staff Writer

The debate team won 12 awards and brought home the championship in the Intercollegiate Public Debate Association Championship last weekend.

The team received nine awards for the season, coming home with 21 trophies.

"We went head to head and won," Trey Gibson, coach of the debate team and an instructor of speech, said.

Gibson said the team won the championship and beat host school Stephen F. Austin University by one point.

The team left Thursday for the tournament, held in Nacogdoches, Texas.

The university had 62 wins and 34 losses.

In the championship, the top four entries are taken in each division. The university had only four entries in each division.

"We were really under the gun," Gibson said.

The final tally for the tournament was 79 to 78.

"It was kind of like a basketball score," Gibson said. "A tight one."

Lynsie Fielder, a senior speech communications major, said the weekend was very intense.

"It's constant, no breaks," Fielder said. "It's just go-go-go-go, until you go home."

Fielder gave 29 speeches over the weekend, all between three and seven minutes long. Gibson gave 27.

Before the tournament Gibson said he was "kind of antsy" and unsure of the outcome of the tournament.

"We'd done everything we needed to do," Gibson said. "We had a strategy, then we had to wait and see."

Gibson said they didn't know the results of the tournament until the closing ceremony, so the team didn't know where they stood.

"You can't see the results," Gibson said. "It's like playing a blind game."

Fielder said at the awards ceremony, it seemed the university name was constantly being called out.

"It was amazing, just knowing I'm part of that team," Fielder said. "What we did this weekend, you can't get any better. You just can't."

Sheldon Clark, debate team co-captain and a senior business management and entrepreneurship major, said the tournament was a good team experience in that everyone on the team contributed.

"No one had a losing record," Clark said. "It shows that we are a team in the truest sense of the word team."

Gibson said last year the team lost the championship by two points in the final round.

"We know how they feel," Gibson said of Stephen F. Austin University because of the results last year. "That makes winning by one point ever-so-much sweeter."

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