Debate takes “Top Two Year College” at tournament

NEOSHO- It didn’t take long for Crowder Debate to begin their Spring 2015 on a high note. On January 23-25, the team traveled to St. Louis to compete in the “17th Annual Gorlok Gala” held on the campus of Webster University. 49 schools spanning 23 states attended the event. Some of Crowder’s more notable competition included the University of Kentucky, Boise State University, and Ithaca College.

In Parliamentary Debate, the team of Tom Younker (Monett) and Kayla Williams (Neosho) went into elimination rounds with a 4-1 record, finishing 4th place overall in the Junior Varsity division. The tandem was also named 7th Speaker and 3rd Speaker respectively. Drew Young (Pierce City) also found success with a 9th place Speaker award. In the Novice division, the team of Kyler Bard (Seneca) and Miranda Johnson (Neosho) blazed through preliminary rounds with a stunning 5-0 record, earning them the top seed in elimination rounds. After a 3-0 panel victory in Quarter-Finals, Bard and Johnson finished 3rd with a defeat at the hands of Hillsdale College. In Novice Parliamentary Speaking, Bard was named 6th speaker while Johnson earned an impressive 2nd Place Speaker award.

In Lincoln Douglas Debate, newcomer Katie Knight (Neosho) racked up an impressive 4-2 record in the Novice division, earning her a spot in elimination rounds and a 5th Place Speaker award. Knight advanced all the way to semi-finals and finished 3rd overall. In College Public Forum, Johnson again flexed her speaking muscles and finished 8th in a very competitive Open division. By the end of the weekend, Crowder College was named Top 2-year program at the Gorlok Gala. “In my five years at Crowder, the debate program has never taken 1st at this highly competitive tournament,” commented Jason Edgar, Crowder Debate Instructor. “But the students’ hard work and dedication paid off with a big win.”

The team is now off until February 13th when they compete and host the Missouri Association of Forensics Activities at the Neosho Crowder campus. The tournament serves as the State Championships for intercollegiate Speech and Debate, and is also the qualifier for the National Individual Events Tournament to be held on the Campus of Butler University in Indianapolis, IN March 13-15, 2015.

For up to date information on the Crowder Debate team and their tournament standings, you can visit them on the web at