Drury debate team wins IPDA national title, individual and sweepstakes awards

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 29, 2017 — Drury University’s Debate Union has taken home three national titles in its first year of competition in the International Public Debate Association.

The Drury squad won the varsity competition title at the IPDA’s National Championship Tournament and Convention over the weekend in Russellville, Arkansas. It also took home the National Sweepstakes Award for having the most successful two-person teams in the tournament. In addition, sophomore Mallory Pinson won the individual Top Speaker Award at the event.

There were 56 teams in the varsity competition, representing universities from North Carolina to Seattle. Drury advanced three, two-person teams into the top 16 and then the quarterfinals. One Drury team lost in quarterfinals, while the two other teams were paired against each other. The team of Austin Cassity and Lindsay Duede stepped aside, advancing the team of Ameran Link and Kris Rose into the semifinal round. Link and Rose won both the semifinal and final rounds to go undefeated and win the national varsity title.

“Our success is due to the fact that the students attracted to the program are probably good at most things they do; they are hardworking achievers,” says Dr. Charles Deberry, the Debate Union coach. “Debate squads are highly competitive and, yet, know they need to be cooperative to be successful. I’m really proud of the esprit de corps that’s developed throughout this season of ups and downs. It’s thrilling to end this first year on such a high note.”

Bringing back a tradition at Drury that dates back to the late 1800s, the debate program was re-established in 2016 after a hiatus and quickly began making waves in its first season in the IPDA. Formed in 1997, the league emphasizes critical thinking, civil discourse, logic, creativity, and real-world persuasion skills. The IDPA has more than 120 member colleges in 28 states in the southeast, Midwest and west coast and continues to grow.

Each member of team is in his or her first year of college debate, and most are underclassmen. Members of the Drury squad include Mallory Pinson, Ameran Link, Kris Rose, Lindsay Duede, Austin Cassity, Jerrica Shine, Emily Collier, Kat Sittenauer, Erin Benedict, Ayesha Naqi and Haley Davis.

Final results for Drury from the IPDA National Championship:

  • Kris Rose and Lindsay Duede were varsity double octofinalists (6th place).
  • Lindsay Duede and Austin Cassity were quarterfinalists (4th place).
  • Mallory Pinson and Jerrica Shine were quarterfinalists (4th place).
  • Ameran Link and Kris Rose won the national title in team varsity competition.
  • Lindsay Duede was the 5th place speaker in varsity competition.
  • Mallory Pinson was the 1st place individual speaker in varsity competition.
  • Drury also ended the year in 3rd and 5th place, respectively, in season-long team and varsity rankings.

For more information on debate at Drury, visit http://drurydebateunion.org.

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