GCU topples ASU, UC Berkeley in speech and debate tournament

November 09, 2015 / by / 0 Comment

By Laurie Merrill
GCU News Bureau

GCU’s speech and debate team beat top competitors from Arizona State University and the University of California, Berkeley, as it notched its first overall tournament victory this past weekend.

The young team finished first among 11 four-year universities at the Robert Barbera Collegiate Forensics Invitational #1 at California State University, Northridge. It bested ASU, ranked in the top 10 in the nation last year, and UC Berkeley, which has five of the top 10-ranked competitors in Northern California.

“I believe it ranks as our most impressive team victory in the regular season in the three-year history of our team,” said team director Barry Regan, a College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) communications instructor. “Beating both of these programs is truly a landmark moment for our team.”

Key performers included freshmen Chrycia LeGendre, Keliann Nash, Brian White, Thomas Gleason and TaylorRaie Humbert and juniors Jessica Bradley, Thomas Rotering and Zachary Kuykendall, Regan said.

“I am especially proud of the fact that 70 percent of our sweepstakes points were accumulated by freshmen, which is very rare for a four-year school to accomplish,” Regan said.

He also offered profuse praise to assistant coach Michael Dvorak, a CHSS faculty member.

CHSS Dean Sherman Elliott said he was “over-the-top impressed” with the team’s victory. “It is so rare to witness such a young team’s talent come to fruition in such a meaningful way,” Elliott said.

Coming up next:

• GCU and ASU are competing at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, in the “Battle for the Valley Speech-Off,” tentatively scheduled to be held in Peet’s on the second floor of the Student Union.

• The team’s final fall semester tournament is scheduled for Dec. 4-6 at the Pacific Southwest Collegiate Forensics Association Fall Championships at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, Calif.

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