Jeremy Peterson and David Wells of California State University, Bakersfield's debate team have qualified for the National Debate Tournament by beating the top team in California - the University of Southern California - at a recent debate tourney. This marks the first time that a team from CSUB has qualified for the National Debate Tournament, said debate team coach and CSUB forensics director Omar G. Guevara.
Peterson and Wells also beat the top teams from Pepperdine, San Diego State, Chico State in order to post a 5-3 record in eight, two-hour debates at the tourney.
CSUB Debaters Adam Cosper and William Mord almost qualified for the National Debate Tournament. At one point, they had three wins and one loss. However, close losses to Loyola and USC in the later rounds on the second day kept them from qualifying. They will now have to apply for one of the 16 available "at-large" slots.
As a result, CSUB will have one team, and could have two, in the 76-team field of the 54th annual National Debate Tournament. This year's tournament will be hosted by the University of Missouri, Kansas City, March 23-28.
In the non-qualifying division, Leah Clark and Pawan Gill posted a 4-2 record to place third in the field of 13 teams. Clark was also the third best speaker in her division.
Guevara said he was delighted with his students' performance. "This is an incredible accomplishment," he said. "It's truly remarkable what these students have accomplished in the last two years since we launched the team. This shows the caliber of our students, to be among the best debate teams in the nation. We're very proud of their accomplishments."
Assistant coach Diane Waryas said she and Guevara were planning a public reception for the team prior to leaving for the national tourney. She said she would announce the time and place once details have been worked out.
For more information about CSUB's debate team, please call Guevara at 661/664-2206.
Public Affairs Offices/Campus News