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Two MSU Debate Teams Reach Top 32 at Texas Open Tournament

By Carly Watson

Michigan State University Debate had two teams reach the top 32 at the Texas Open Tournament hosted by the University of Texas at Austin. The Texas Open Tournament had 161 entries across three divisions.

Joanna Gusis, a political theory and constitutional democracy freshman in the Honors College, and Tony Miklovis, a social relations and policy and international relations sophomore in the Honors College, racked up wins over Harvard College, Boston College, Trinity University, and The New School to reach the double octafinals.

Ephraim Bennett, a computer science sophomore, and David Koster, a political science-prelaw and economics junior in the Honors College, bested teams from California State University Long Beach, the University of Wyoming, Towson University, and Emporia State University to reach the double octafinals.

“Texas is the largest tournament of the spring semester so having two teams in elimination rounds is an exciting result,” said Kevin McCaffrey, MSU Debate Assistant Coach.

In the double octafinals, both MSU Debate teams were narrowly defeated by their opponents. A panel of three judges adjudicate elimination debates and both teams’ decisions had two judges who voted for the opponent and one judge who voted for MSU.

“We debated challenging teams in the double octafinals but having two close decisions is a testament to how well our students were debating,” said McCaffrey.

Nate Glancy, an economics senior, and Piper Meloche, a social relations and policy senior in the Honors College, had the requisite number of preliminary round wins to reach elimination debates – including a win over the University of Michigan – but narrowly missed qualifying for elimination rounds.

MSU was also represented in the Texas Open tournament varsity division by Glen Scully, a computer science freshman, Miaomiao Zi, an interdisciplinary humanities freshman in the Honors College, Mitchell Scott, an economics junior, and Arielle Gearring, a political theory and constitutional democracy freshman. Aadit Agrahara and Tyler Buck, both freshman in James Madison College, competed in the junior varsity division.

“We had six teams competing across two divisions and all six had a competitive tournament. Every single MSU team competing at Texas had good wins,” said Will Repko, MSU Debate Head Coach.

The Texas Open Tournament is the team’s last tournament of regular-season competition. MSU Debate will compete next the National Debate Tournament qualifier later this month.

The MSU Debate team is part of the Honors College.

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