The Belmont Speech and Debate Team swept the Tennessee Intercollegiate Forensics Association’s state tournament, Feb. 5, 2005, for the fourth straight year in a row. Debaters claimed three of the four slots in semi-finals and Aketa Simmons and Travis Holloway were named tournament champions. Jonathan Guenther was 1st speaker overall and Holloway and Simmons were 2nd and 3rd respectively. Novice debaters, Will Cromer and Caleb Smith placed 3rd overall in the open division, and Guenther and partner, Casey Fincher, were 4th overall. Smith, Cromer and Fincher all won speaking awards. Kelli Yeatts and Nick Bumgardner nabbed 3rd in the novice division and Yeatts won 5th place novice speaker.
In Individual Events, McKinley Belcher was tournament champion in Communication Analysis, Poetry, and Informative Speaking, and placed 2nd in Duo and 5th in Prose. Belcher won the Pentathlon award for the top speaker in five or more events. Ryan Greenawalt was tournament champion in Impromptu and placed 2nd in Duo, 4th in Prose and 4th in After Dinner Speaking. Kristen Taylor was tournament champion in After Dinner Speaking and placed 5th in Dramatic Interpretation. Crystal Jones placed 3rd in Informative, 3rd in Dramatic Interpretation, 5th in Poetry and 5th in Program of Oral Interpretation. Other finalists were Tabitha Metcalf in After Dinner Speaking and Chasity Gunn in Persuasion. With individual tournament champions in 10 categories and an overall team win, this was Belmont’s best showing yet.