Grove City College’s Debate Team wrapped up fall competition with successful performances at tournaments in Tennessee and Ohio.
With half the season under their belt, the debate team is preparing for spring action with two national competitions on the horizon.
“I’m delighted with how the team has come together with significant success being seen across experience levels and formats. We just hope we can keep the momentum rolling into the New Year,” Head Coach Jason R. Edwards, professor of History, said.
Over fall break, the team dominated the competition in the first Cleveland (Tenn.) State Community College Forensics Tournament. Facing off against formidable schools such as Berea College, Carson Newman and Bryan College, Grove City’s three varsity and single novice teams each ended the tournament with a winning record.
In the Open competitions, team captains Carolyn Hartwick ’19 and Chris Ostertag ’20 closed out finals with Sydney Travis ’21 and Rebecca Powell ’20, while Timothy Hughes ’22 and Jennifer Hoyt ’22 won the Novice finals on a 2-1 decision, victoriously completing their first-ever college tournament. Ostertag, Hartwick, and Travis took home 2nd, 3rd and 4th place speaker awards in the open category while Hughes and Hoyt received 1st and 4th in the Novice division. These results won Grove City College the tournament’s sweepstakes award.
The team competed in two of the longest-running tournaments in the nation over Thanksgiving break. The Falcon Classic and Birds of a Feather tournaments are held annually at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and this year attracted the largest numbers of competitors in decades. Debating against schools such as Hillsdale College, Ball State University and Oberlin College, the Grove City College team performed well in both NPDA and IPDA debate formats.
On the first day of NPDA competition, Hartwick and Ostertag won their semifinal round before being defeated in finals on a 2-1 decision in the Open division, while Novice teams Ruth Eckman ’22 and Anna Claire Rowlands ’22, and Anna Bigham ’22 and Jennifer Hoyt ’22, broke to semifinals, losing on 2-1 decisions. In IPDA competition, Jonathan Skee ’21 broke to quarterfinals, winning that round on a 2-1 decision before losing on a 2-1 in semifinals. These results secured the debate sweepstakes award for GCC.
On the second day of competition, all teams competing in NPDA and IPDA formats were placed in the Open bracket, giving Novice team members a chance to compete against experienced upperclassmen from around the country. All three Varsity NPDA teams finished with winning records, with Susannah Barnes ’21 and Stefanie Klaves ’21 making their way to the finals after being advanced over Hartwick and Ostertag in the semifinals. In IPDA, Melissa Pietruski ’21 broke to semifinals but lost on a 2-1 decision. With these stellar results, GCC once again took home the day’s debate sweepstakes prize.
Dr. Andrew Harvey, professor of English, and Dr. Michael Coulter, professor of Political Science, serve as assistant coaches.