Debate team completes first tournament with success

Monticello, Ark. — The Union University Debate Team completed its first tournament of the season Oct. 4-6 at the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

The team placed first in the International Public Debate Association sweepstakes and second in the overall sweepstakes out of 10 teams at the tournament.

“The team got off to an excellent start,” said Web Drake, debate team coach and chair of the communication arts department. “The new debaters blended into the team naturally and easily. The returnees continued to build on their previous experience.”

Lacie Fink, sophomore accounting major, won the novice division. Abby Williams, senior English and music major, placed second in the varsity division while Hunter Cochran, junior mathematics and physics major, placed second in the professional division.

“[Fink, Cochran and Williams] were wonderful representatives of our team,” said Ali Holcomb, debate team captain and senior social work major. “It was great to see how the whole team was able to come together and support them.”

The tournament was the first opportunity for the team’s seven freshmen to compete.

“I think we will have a really excellent season,” Holcomb said. “[The freshmen] worked really hard, and I have a lot of confidence in them.”

Full results from the University of Arkansas at Monticello’s “Weevil Wars Tournament”:

Team: IPDA sweepstakes first place and overall sweepstakes second place.

Cochran, professional debate finalist and professional debate speaker fifth place.

Williams, varsity debate finalist and varsity debate speaker second place.

Luke Brake, varsity debate quarterfinalist.

Holcomb, varsity debate quarterfinalist and varsity debate speaker third place.

Anna Goodman, varsity debate octo-finalist and varsity debate speaker fourth place.

Janie Owen, varsity debate octo-finalist.

Sam Strickland, varsity debate octo-finalist.

Fink, novice debate champion and novice debate speaker second place.

Daniel Keylon, novice debate quarterfinalist.

Cassandra Solis, novice debate octo-finalist.

For more information about Union’s debate team, contact Drake at (731) 661-5961 or