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MSU Debate Excels at Tournament Hosted by University of Kentucky

Michigan State University Debate had two teams competing in elimination debates of the open division and one team reach the quarterfinals of the Wildcat division at the JW Patterson Debates at Kentucky.

Wajeeha Kamal, a Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy sophomore in the Honors College, and Maddie Van Zant, a psychology senior in the Honors College, represented MSU in the quarterfinals of the Wildcat division. Kamal and Van Zant defeated teams from Wayne State, Indiana University, and the University of Houston to reach the top eight at the tournament. Van Zant was also named third speaker in the Wildcat division.

“The JW Patterson Tournament is one of the largest tournaments in the fall semester and the Wildcat division was especially competitive this year,” said Will Repko, MSU Debate Head Coach.

In the open division, Nate Glancy, an economics senior, David Koster, a political science sophomore in the Honors College, Piper Meloche, a social relations and policy major in the Honors College, and Tony Miklovis, a James Madison College freshman reached the double octa-finals elimination debate round.

Meloche and Miklovis defeated teams from West Georgia University, Missouri State University, Wake Forest University, and the University of Kentucky in the preliminary debates before being defeated by Emory University in elimination debates.

Glancy and Koster bested teams from Wake Forest University, Georgetown University, the University of Kansas, and Binghamton University before bowing out to a team from Liberty University.

In September at the Northwestern Season Opener, MSU Debate also had two teams reach elimination debates in the open division but fewer teams were selected for elimination debates at the JW Patterson Debates at Kentucky.

“This result builds on the results from the season opener,” said Kevin McCaffrey, MSU Debate Assistant Coach. “Having two teams reach the top 32 is exactly the progress we’d like to see.”

The JW Patterson Debates were hosted by the University of Kentucky but MSU Debate competed in the tournament virtually using classroom space at MSU.

Mitchell Scott, a computer science sophomore, and Ephraim Bennett, a computer science freshman also competed at the JW Patterson Debates. Scott and Bennett had wins over the University of Southern California, University of Texas at Dallas, and the University of Central Oklahoma.

“This tournament felt fully like a team effort,” said Repko. “There’s a great energy with this group of students and it’s an exciting time to be around our squad.”

MSU Debate will compete next at the Wayne State Tournament October 22-24. Last year, MSU Debate won the Wayne State Tournament.

The MSU Debate team is part of the Honors College.

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