West Virginia Universitys Debate Team is enjoying success on the road this season. The team has excelled in the novice, junior varsity and varsity divisions at tournaments at Buffalo University, Vanderbilt University and West Point.
At the Buffalo tournament, first-time debaters Ben Wilhelm, a sophomore pre-forensic and investigative sciences major from Westerville, Ohio, and Lee Zaniewski, a freshman engineering major from Morgantown, finished third in a field of 28 teams, losing in the octafinals. Individually, Wilhelm was fourth speaker and Zaniewski ninth in the novice division. Karen Snyder, freshman journalism major from New Martinsville, and Mike Stark, a sophomore political science and economics student from Charleston, finished fifth in the preliminary round before being eliminated in the quarterfinal round.
In the novice division at the Vanderbilt tournament, the team of Wilhelm and Zaniewski tied as co-champions with Snyder and Stark. They all placed in the top 10 individually.
JV debaters had success at West Point, where Kate Huleatt, a junior English and economics major from Morgantown, and Doug Rogers, a junior economics and political science student from Latrobe, Pa., made it to the quarterfinal round before being eliminated. Snyder and Stark continued to do well in the novice division, finishing fifth out of 50 teams.
Debate team coach Neil Berch, associate professor in the Department of Political Science in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, will take half the team to compete in a varsity event at the University of Massachusetts Nov. 11-13.
Assistant Coach Josh Boggs will accompany the novice teams to a tournament at Appalachian State University the same weekend.
The team is proud to announce that WVU will host the Novice and JV Nationals in March 2006. More than 300 participants from across the nation are expected to participate, making it the largest and most prestigious event for students who begin debating in college.