Over Fall Break, the Emporia State debate team held their annual tournament at ESU. In total, 73 students from 12 schools and seven states competed, according to Chris Loghry, instructor and director of debate. ESU bowed out in the octofinals.

“Keryk (Kuiper) and I made it to octofinals,” Squid Monteith, senior speech and theater education major. “Then Nico (Sims) and Matt (LaMunyon), I’m not sure what they got in prelims, but didn’t end up breaking. But, they did really good though because I remember they had a couple of good wins against some tough teams.” At ESU, the debate tournament operates a little differently than normal tournaments, according to Monteith. “This is really cool,” Monteith said.

“I’m not sure how this tournament has been doing this, but this is the only tournament that I’ve seen to do it, where once you break you outrounds, you have the seeds...and the top seed...picks someone to challenge. If they want, they want to challenge the second seed and just do like a top seed show down, they can...They get to pick what they want it to be.”

In the late 2000s, Samuel Maurer, former director of debate, created the rules and started doing the challenge style finals. Loghry was a student at ESU at that time and said he appreciates that the tradition has been continued.

“I was a student here at that time, I was on the debate team,” Loghry said. “I thought it was really cool then and fortunately the directors between Sam and me continued the tradition.”

Courtney Schauer, assistant director of debate, said that debate is a learning experience. “The thing about debate is it’s really like a high-impact learning experience…,” Schauer said.

According to Monteith, there was a moment during round five when they were faced with a challenge, but through teamwork, they were able to pull together and win the round.

“In round five, we were debating this team that we had a really good idea of what they were reading,” Monteith said. “Keryk and I had discussed doing a bit of a shakeup with our strategy where we would switch speaker positions. But, we hadn’t quite been sure as to whether or not we were going to this yet. However, Keryk got sick right before round five.” While Keryk was out sick, there was a rallying moment. “We were sitting a room and even though,...” Monteith said.

“Everyone else, in terms of coaching, they had a lot of responsibilities at the tournament, there was a moment where, what would be crisis moment, wasn’t a crisis...Everyone came to our room and contributed what they could...It just really felt good. It felt like you have people in your corner to help you when they see that something concerning is happening."

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