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Lewis & Clark wins first debate tournament of spring

January 14, 2013

  • Emily Halter (CAS '14) and Joe Hykan (CAS '13)

University of Utah

For most teams across the nation, the parliamentary debate season runs from September until March. The seven months resemble a marathon more than a sprint, as teams not only must prepare well for the season but must maintain that momentum throughout.

But for the Lewis & Clark team of Joe Hykan (CAS ‘13) and Emily Halter (CAS ‘14), this season is a sprint and a marathon wrapped into one. After completing last season with a third place finish at the national championship tournament, Hykan and Halter did not compete together in the fall as Halter was studying abroad in East Africa.

The pair started the season off well by winning the Long Beach Classic, a tournament held on the campus of the University of Utah January 4-6, 2013. They followed that performance with a third place finish at the Great Salt Lake Invitational held on the same weekend. The combined performances were the strongest of any team at the tournaments and solidified the team’s status as one of the top teams in the nation.

At the Long Beach Classic tournament, Hykan and Halter won seven debates and lost only one, finishing first out of a field of 41 teams. They won their semifinal debate against the University of Nevada at Reno before defeating a team from the University of California at Berkeley in the final round, successfully debating against United States approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. At the Great Salt Lake Invitational, the pair won eight debates and lost two, finally falling to Concordia University in the semifinal debate to finish third out of the field of 48 teams.

Director of Forensics Joe Gantt said of the weekend, “We have been waiting all year to see Emily and Joe debate, and they definitely did not disappoint. I am very proud of the fact that they were able to debate at such a high level given the fact that they had not been able to practice or compete together for months. Their performance speaks well to the potential that they have for the rest of the season.”

Lewis & Clark’s success did not stop with Hykan and Halter. The team of Benjamin Mann (CAS ‘14) and Brigitte Tripp (CAS ‘16) finished in ninth place at both tournaments. And at the Great Salt Lake Invitational, five Lewis & Clark debaters were named among the top fifteen individual speakers at the tournament: Hykan and Halter finished fourth and sixth, respectively, McKay Campbell (CAS ‘14) finished tenth, and Tripp and Mann finished eleventh and fifteenth, respectively.

The next debate tournaments for the Lewis & Clark debaters will held on the campus of The Colorado College January 18-20.


For more information:

Joe Gantt
Director of Forensics