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MSU Debate Ends Regular Season with Two Top 16 Finishes

Michigan State University Debate had two teams in the top 16 of the Texas Open Tournament hosted by the University of Texas at Austin last weekend.

The Texas Open is the largest tournament of the spring semester with nearly 130 entries and marks the last tournament of the team’s regular season. David Koster, Stephen Lewis, Joanna Gusis, and Tony Miklovis holding octafinalist plaques

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, reached the octafinals after preliminary round victories over the University of Minnesota, Emory University, the University of Texas at Dallas, and Wyoming University.

Gusis and Miklovis defeated a team from the University of Kentucky in the partial triple octafinals and a team from Wake Forest University in the double octafinals before being narrowly bested in the octafinals by a team from Georgetown University.

Gusis and Miklovis have also reached the Sweet 16 at the Northwestern Season Opener, the University of Kentucky Tournament, the Harvard College Tournament, and the Franklin R. Shirley Tournament.

David Koster, a political science and economics senior in the Honors College, and Stephen Lewis, a journalism freshman, also reached the octafinals after defeating teams from Northwestern University, Emory University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Kansas, the University of Kentucky, and Wichita State University.

Koster and Lewis were one of only a few teams at the tournament to have a perfect winning record in preliminary debates. Because they won all six preliminary debates, they entered the elimination debates as the 4th overall seed.

As the 4th seed, Koster and Lewis advanced without debating in the triple octafinals and then defeated a team from Binghamton University in the double octafinals. They were ultimately bested by a team from Harvard University in the octafinals.

“This is a very strong showing from MSU to wrap up the regular season,” said Will Repko, MSU Debate Head Coach. “Our teams are debating well and we’re looking forward to carrying that forward to the national championship tournaments.

MSU was also represented at the tournament by Mitchell Scott, an economics senior, Zaria Jarman, a James Madison College freshman, Ephraim Bennett, a computer science junior, Blaine Montford, a political science freshman in the Honors College, Miaomiao Zi, interdisciplinary humanities and English concentration in creative writing sophomore, and Arielle Gearring, a sophomore Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy student.

The Texas Open is MSU Debate’s last tournament of the regular season. Post-season competition starts at the National Debate Tournament District Qualifying tournament in a few weeks. The team will then debate at the American Debate Association National Championship and the National Debate Tournament.

The MSU Debate Team is part of the Honors College.

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