Grand County hosts Red Rock debate tourney
Dec 21, 2017 | 429 views | 0 0 comments | 65 65 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Public forum teammates Kai Wainer and Emma Millis take prep time to discuss their case during the Red Rock Classic tournament on Friday, Dec. 15.       Photo by Greg Knight
Public forum teammates Kai Wainer and Emma Millis take prep time to discuss their case during the Red Rock Classic tournament on Friday, Dec. 15. Photo by Greg Knight
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The Grand County debate team held the Red Rock Classic tournament at home, Dec. 15 and 16, with more than 100 students from Grand County and 15 other schools competing across a variety of events.

The debaters did incredibly well with many placing, though the Red Devils did not win the tournament with points scored.

“We weren’t specifically concerned about taking the tournament,” senior captain Aidan G. Newton said. “A couple of us didn’t even compete the second day of the tournament so we could help run it. [Head] coach Carrie Strecker and the rest of the captains just wanted to make sure we can keep hosting this tournament in future years. So, this year that meant we had to prove Grand County could run a tournament.”

It seems that other schools were enjoying the tournament as Grand received positive feedback from coaches and debaters.

“I really enjoyed coming to Moab for a tournament,” debater Grace Zhu from Summit Academy said. “We don’t normally get to do overnight tournaments, so this a fun change for our team. We also like coming out to Moab in general. It is such a nice little town.”

Even though the Red Devil team was more focused on running the tournament, Grand County had several members do very well in their events. In Lincoln-Douglas, debaters Newton, Grace Osusky, Phillip Geiser and Caylee Stroder all went undefeated. They were four of the eleven competitors that went undefeated. There were more than 60 competitors in Lincoln-Douglas.

“Our Lincoln-Douglas debaters have all been doing really well this year,” Newton said. “All of us have basically had the same record at the tournaments we have been going to. It makes the competition between us really intense. It is hard for us to outplace each other. So, especially at the smaller tournaments we are generally competing with each other.”

Grand County was also very successful in other debate events. Red Devils had two new public forum teams compete at the tournament. Public forum is a partnered event where a team prepares cases for a new topic every month. This month’s topic was about implementing background checks on citizens buying guns. Both teams went undefeated. The teams included Emma Millis with her partner Kai Wainer, and Miranda Corbin and her partner Jayden Thomas. All four of the debaters have competed in debate events before but this was their first time competing with these partnerships. According to Strecker, the debate team will likely push the public forum teams to continue competing in these partnerships since they have proven they can work well together.

The Grand County debate team also had success in the student congress event. Student congress is a debate event where competitors act as congress members and debate different bills. There are generally 15 to 20 debaters in each “house” with a total of four different houses represented at the tournament. Grand County’s house featured sophomore Ty Martinez placing first. Martinez has been competing in congress for more than a year now. Grand County also had a freshman, Diego Winn, take third in his congress house victory.

“I really enjoy congress because there are so many different topics to debate about,” Martinez said. “It’s also really nice to do well and place. I am glad I was able to at our home tournament.”

In speech events, Grand County also saw moderate success. Osusky took second place in combined extemporaneous, an individual event where competitors are given 30 minutes to prepare a 7-minute speech on different political topics. Martinez also did well in this event, placing eighth. Wainer decided to compete in an event that is not usually offered at most tournaments called storytelling and did well, placing sixth.

“Overall the team is really proud of how the tournament came out,” Newton said. “We are really hoping we have the chance to host another tournament next year as well. Hopefully an even bigger tournament.”

The Red Devils’ next tournament will be at Arizona State University on Jan. 5, 2018.

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