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Two MSU Debate Teams Qualify for Elimination Debates at National Debate Tournament

Michigan State University Debate had two teams qualify for the elimination debates at the National Debate Tournament (NDT) hosted at Emory University earlier this month.

David Koster, a political science and economics senior in the Honors College, and Stephen Lewis, a journalism freshman, qualified for elimination debates after defeating teams from the University of Michigan, Wake Forest University, the University of Georgia, Trinity University, and the University of Iowa.

Joanna Gusis, a political theory and constitutional democracy sophomore in the Honors College, and Tony Miklovis, a social relations and policy and international relations junior in the Honors College, bested teams from Georgetown University, Northwestern University, the University of Houston, James Madison University, and Wake Forest University.

David Koster and Stephen Lewis“The NDT is all of the best teams in the country so those results are a testament to how hard these students and this team have worked,” said Will Repko, MSU Debate Head Coach.

The NDT is the culminating tournament in competitive intercollegiate policy debate and only 78 teams are permitted to qualify. Gusis and Miklovis qualified as the thirteenth team overall and received an automatic invitation to compete at the NDT. Koster and Lewis qualified as the top team in the district at the district qualifying tournament.

Qualifying for elimination debates places these two teams in the top 32 of the tournament overall and it requires winning five or more preliminary debates. Both teams lost close debates in the double octafinals.

“The last time we automatically qualified to the NDT was 2016 and that was also the last time we had two teams in elimination debates,” said Repko. “We have a group of really talented students and it’s been

an incredibly successful year for the team.”

These teams from MSU also reached the Sweet 16 at the American Debate Association National Tournament and at the Texas Open Tournament.

The MSU Debate Team is part of the Honors College.

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