Belmont Speech and Debate Team Wins State Championship

Debate Team 2019

This past weekend the Belmont University Speech and Debate Team won the state championship at the Tennessee Intercollegiate Forensics Association (TIFA) competition.

The tournament was held Feb. 8-10 on the campus of Carson-Newman University. With 12 universities in competition, Belmont placed first in individual events, third in debate and ranked top in the overall competition. Jason Stahl, director of the team explained, “Tennessee has a great history of speech and debate programs. It’s truly an honor to see our students succeed over such a talented group of schools.”

Team members competed in debate, public speaking and literature interpretation events.  Throughout the program, they hone their critical thinking, speech writing and performance skills in competitions across the country. Sophomore Marissa Avnaim revealed, “We’ve all been working so hard, and we definitely saw it in the results… being on this team has definitely been the most rewarding part of my college career so far.”

Here are the awards that Belmont students received at the TIFA state tournament:

  • Debate Awards:
    • Novice IPDA Quarter-Finalists – Jace Wilder, Marissa Avnaim
    • Novice IPDA Semi-Finalist – Deanna Medina
    • Novice IPDA 2nd Place – Nazif Manaj
    • Novice IPDA 3rd place speaker – Nazif Manaj
    • Novice IPDA 4th place speaker – Deanna Medina
  • Public Speaking Events
    • After Dinner Speaking – Sophie Lampkin, 5th place
    • Extemporaneous Speaking
      • Alexander Baynum, 2nd place
      • Tyler Redmon, 4th place
    • Informative – Alexander Baynum, 2nd place
    • Persuasion – Marissa Avnaim, 2nd place
    • Communication Analysis
      • Alexander Baynum, 3rd place
      • Tyler Redmon, 4th place
      • Deanna Medina, 5th place
    • Radio Broadcasting
      • Allison Mahal, 2nd place
      • Mary Spaulding, 3rd place
    • Interpretation of Literature Events
      • Dramatic Interpretation – Alex Jordan, 4th place
      • DUO Interpretation
        • Alex Jordan/Mary Spaulding, 4th place
        • Alexander Baynum/Allison Mahal, 3rd
        • Madison Kendrick/Allison Mahal, 1st place
      • Poetry
        • Jace Wilder, 2nd place
        • Mary Spaulding, 3rd place
      • POI – Madison Kendrick, 3rd place
      • Prose
        • Madison Kendrick, 3rd place
        • Alex Jordan, 4th place
        • Allison Mahal, 5th place