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MSU Debate team defeats U-M, brings home 1st place win at tournament

Stephanie Cepak

Austin, TEXAS — The Michigan State University Debate team won the Texas Open tournament this week, besting a team from the University of Michigan in the final round.

Tyler Thur, an Honors College member and international relations junior, and his partner, math junior Margaret Strong, were the winning MSU team. Thur and Strong are the first team of juniors to win a major national tournament for MSU.

The Texas Open is the last major national tournament of the spring before the National Debate Tournament (NDT). In all, 130 teams competed in the Texas tournament.

During the elimination rounds, MSU beat teams from Harvard University, Northwestern University, the University of Kentucky, and Emory University.

“They say everything is bigger in Texas, and this win sure feels that way,” said head coach Will Repko. “Marge and Tyler were nothing but tenacious in their pursuit for first place. I congratulate both of them for their outstanding performances.”

Sean Lavelle, a political science/pre-law freshman, and Connor Munsinger, an Honors College computer science first-year, also competed for MSU at Texas. They finished 5-3 and missed advancing to the elimination rounds on speaker points. Their performance is considered strong for first-year college debaters.

Bids for the NDT will be announced over the coming weeks. The 69th annual NDT will be held at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa from April 3-6.

The MSU Debate Team is a part of the Honors College. For more information, go to

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