TSU Debaters Rank Among The Top In The Country At National Tournament

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The Tennessee State University Forensics Team argued its way to success at the International Public Debate Association’s 2015 National Tournament hosted at Boise State University March 27-29.

Kavon Coleman, left, Barbara Dudley, Ricky Madden, and Kevon Graves will travel next to Portland, Oregon to compete in the American Forensic Association National Tournament, and Athens, Ohio, in the National Forensic Association National Tournament.

Sophomores Ricky Madden, from Kansas City, Missouri, and Barbra Dudley, from Indianapolis, both advanced to elimination rounds. Madden, competing in the Novice Division, advanced to triple-octafinals before being eliminated by the eventual national champion, Middle Tennessee State University student, Leigh Stanfield. Dudley advanced to Quarterfinals in the Professional division, finishing in a tie for fifth place in the tournament with season-long national champion Allison Pulliam of Union University.

“This is only the second year that TSU has had a debate team and they continue to perform exceptionally well,” said Adam Key, assistant director of Forensics and debate coach. “Last year, we had students ranked in the top 32 competitors in the Novice Division. This year, we had a student ranked in the top five of the organization’s toughest division.”

In addition to being ranked among the top competitors in the division, Dudley was the only competitor to defeat the tournament national champion, Chris Brown of the University of Arkansas at Monticello, at any point during the national tournament. Brown, who earned his fourth national title at the tournament, was complimentary of Dudley.

“She did great in our round,” Brown said. “I was really impressed.”

Also participating in competition were Kevon Graves, a freshman from Kansas City, Missouri, who competed in the Professional Division, and Kavon Coleman, a sophomore from Grand Rapids, Michigan, who was the team judge.

According to Key, both students were instrumental in the team’s success.

“We prepare cases as a team,” Key said. “Whether the student left with a trophy or not, every member of our team is responsible for our success.”

The IPDA National Tournament was the last outing for the TSU debate team for the year. The team will travel next to Portland, Oregon to compete in the American Forensic Association National Tournament, and Athens, Ohio, for the National Forensic Association National Tournament.



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