New school year, same high level of competitive success for Seawolf Debate 

by Michelle Saport  |   

This past weekend, UAA's Seawolf Debate program sent three teams to Colorado Springs to attend the annual tournament hosted by the United States Air Force Academy. At its first competition of the 2014-15 school year, the Seawolf debaters showed few signs of early season rust as all three teams advanced to the elimination rounds, including two teams who made it all the way to the final round.

The tournament began with 56 teams in attendance representing 17 institutions from across the United States, including teams from Louisiana, South Carolina and Vermont. Topics ranged from contemporary global issues (such as whether the World Health Organization ought to have the power to close borders to prevent the spread of highly infectious diseases) to more futuristic considerations (the effect of increased automation in the workforce).

Following six preliminary rounds of competition, all three UAA teams advanced to quarterfinals and were seeded among the top teams (second, fifth and seventh respectively) at the competition. While the team of Bexley Brown and Johanna Richter dropped in a close quarterfinal round, the teams of Matthieu Ostrander and Jonathon Taylor, and Sarah Elton and AJ Carver successfully argued their way through quarterfinals and semifinals on their way to finals.

The final round turned into a showdown between UAA and perennial powerhouse Loyola Marymount University (LMU) of Los Angeles as each school advanced two teams. Following an incredibly close round on a topic evaluating the likely effectiveness of sanctions targeting Russia, UAA's Elton and Carver captured second place, with Ostrander and Taylor finishing third. LMU's top team won the tournament.

While these Seawolf debaters just missed out on the championship, they demonstrated the incredible depth of talent within the program. Of the top twelve individual speakers (out of the 112 total speakers entered In the competition), six were from UAA.

While competitive success was achieved early this year, there is no time to relax as UAA prepares to travel teams to this weekend's incredibly competitive Yale University tournament.

For more information, please contact Steve Johnson at (907) 786-4391 or John Schultz at (907) 786-4354.

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