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PLU Debaters Make History at Linfield Tournament

November 19, 2014

PLU Debaters Make History at Linfield Tournament

Forensics Team is Off to Another Strong Start

PLU Marketing & Communications

TACOMA, Wash. (Nov. 20, 2014)—Members of Pacific Lutheran University’s Forensics team argued their way into the history books at Linfield College last weekend by winning the most single-tournament world’s style debate awards in the program’s history. Senior division debate duo Angie Tinker and Brendan Stanton earned first place in the preliminary rounds and received a finalist award in a field of 32 teams.

Forensics Team

PLU debaters who competed at Linfield College include, top row, left to right: Hannah Bates and Matt Aust and, bottom row, left to right: Angie Tinker, Brendan Stanton, Austin Ballard and Caila Fautenberry. (Photo: Kaitlyn Porter)

Junior division teams Hannah Bates/Matt Aust and Caila Fautenberry/Austin Ballard received awards for debating in the semifinals in a field of 28 teams.

“Seeing PLU get so far in both divisions was exhilarating,” said Tinker. “I’ve never seen that much excitement on the team.”

Tinker also was recognized as the third best speaker in the senior division.

It’s been another successful year for PLU Forensics. Tinker and Stanton were semi-finalists at a competition at Lewis and Clark College, where Megan Bowen and Tori Sullivan also received speaker awards. Sullivan was a junior varsity semi-finalist.

“I am so pleased with the success and continued prowess of the debaters,” said Director of Forensics Justin Eckstein. “I cannot wait to see what they do in the second half of the semester.”

At the Linfield tournament, 10 teams represented PLU and consistently defeated top schools in the region, including Linfield, Willamette, Gonzaga and Seattle University.

“I think our showing at Linfield proves that PLU’s debate program is one to watch out for,” said Bates.

Teams debated on issues including immigration policy, death with dignity laws, criminalizing street harassment, quarantining people exposed to Ebola and U.S. foreign diplomacy in the Middle East.

The team is open to all students with or without debate experience and meets 6-8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in Ingram Hall.

The team will host a high-school speech and debate tournament on campus Dec. 5-6, and all students are welcome to judge. For more information, contact Eckstein at