On the weekend of October 18 and 19 of 2013, Berea College hosted the 11th Annual John G. Fee Memorial Forensics Tournament. The two days long event included Parliamentary Debates and more than ten kinds of individual events among competitors from thirteen different institutions. Fall 2013 has been a golden season for Berea College’s Speech and Debate Team, which has, for the first time in its history, achieved a top 25 national ranking.
This year, thirty-six teams of two person teams participated in Parliamentary Debate. The first day of the tournament hosted five preliminary debate rounds and two rounds of each individual event. On Saturday, the tournament continued with quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals of both the Parliamentary Debate and individual events. Consequently, at the end of the day, Berea College succeeded in putting one team in each of the two final debates: Erica Scott ‘14 and Nate Stewart ‘15 in the novice category, and Maryam Ahmed ‘14 and Jacob Hart ‘14 in the varsity category, both of whom won their respective categories.
In addition, Megi Papiashvili ’16 and Jacob Hart ’14 won fourth and third place top speaker awards respectively. Consequently, Berea College won the first place debate sweepstakes.
Berea College students also won several awards in different individual events. Dylan Hunziker ‘14 won first place and top novice awards in pentathlon, while China Ibuakaeze ‘17 won top novice award in prose and poetry interpretations. In addition, Jonah Cabiles ‘17 won a top novice award in dramatic interpretation, while Jessica Adcock ‘17 and Megan Newbanks ‘17 became top novices in duo interpretation, helping Berea College win a second place individual events sweepstakes.
In 2014, the team participated in two
more tournaments at Butler and Transylvania Universities, where it took first place in the debate sweepstakes along with multiple individual awards. Moreover, at the state tournament in Cincinnati, the college claimed first place in both debate and individual events, while team-captain Mira Denton’14 won the Harlan Hamm Competitor of the Year Award. Because of its exceptional performance this year, the team has qualified for the national tournament in Indianapolis at the end of March.