San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

April 19th, 2010
Texas State teams shine in national speech and debate


Speech and debate competitors from Texas State recently shined in national competitions.

The university’s debate team advanced to the quarterfinals at the U.S. Universities Debate Championships April 9-11 at the University of Denver. Also, the Elton Abernathy Forensics Society, Texas State’s competitive speech team, placed 21st in the nation at the American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament, held April 1-4 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Political science junior Luiz Baez and geography junior Laura Driver were the first-ever competitors from Texas State to advance to elimination rounds in British Parliamentary-style debate at the competition in Denver.

Wayne Kraemer, lecturer and director of the LBJ Debate Society and the Elton Abernathy Forensics Society at Texas State, said their showing at the event was emblematic of the efforts of a program that is consistently invited to international and national competitions and is a perennial favorite on the state level.

“Traditionally we’re one of the strongest programs in the state,” Kraemer said. “The students we get work really hard to succeed and get excellent support from faculty and the university. We’ve been doing this since 1903, so I think we’ve got things figured out.”

Also representing Texas State at the competition were political science juniors Ryan Herrera and Shanna Schultz.

For the Elton Abernathy team, communication studies junior Jaysin Spradley, placed sixth nationally in dramatic interpretation, communication studies junior Brandon McCasland advanced to the national semifinals in dramatic interpretation, and communication studies junior Justin Blacklock advanced to the semifinals in poetry.

“I am incredibly proud of our students and their efforts throughout the year as well as the national tournament,” Kraemer said.

Team coaches include communication studies lecturer Jeremy Hutchins, along with Jonathon Stansbury and Zamzam Jama.

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