Capping off a tremendous season, Simpson College freshmen Jacy Gomez and Ethan Fredrick were named the top Public Forum Debate Team in the country at the Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament in St. Louis.
In addition, Simpson’s Debate Team earned an “Excellence” Sweepstakes award, one of only a few schools recognized among the 86 that competed.
“The dedication demonstrated by the six members throughout the season and their preparation for the national tournament were incredible,” said Spencer Waugh, Simpson’s debate coach. “They worked so well together. Earning top honors was a fitting ending to an amazing season. It is exciting to know that we will return all four freshmen and both sophomores.”
It’s clear: If you’re interested in debate, Simpson is the place to be. It’s the only Iowa school to offer Public Forum Debate.
The team of Gomez and Fredrick earned the Top Superior Award and a standing ovation at the close of the Pi Kappa Delta convention. They finished their season with an outstanding 19-1 record.
All three Simpson debate teams contributed to the Sweepstakes award. In addition to Gomez and Fredrick, a great team effort from Nate Connealy, Jake McLain, Paul Safford and Alex Severn made this accomplishment possible, Waugh said.
After tabulating results across all six debate events, Simpson ranked 23rd nationally. “This is quite impressive, considering Simpson only entered teams in one of the six divisions,” Waugh said.
In addition to earning top honors at the convention, Gomez and Fredrick competed in three showcase rounds following preliminary debates. They defeated teams from William Carey University and the University of Central Missouri, then lost on a 2-1 decision to Hillsdale College of Michigan. This marked the team’s only loss of the 2012-13 season.
Simpson College was one of the first chapters to join Pi Kappa Delta. Simpson hosted the tournament in Indianola in 1922.
Alex Severn and Nate Connealy finished the National Tournament 3-1, and placed 18th.
Paul Safford and Jake McLain finished the national Tournament 2-2, and placed 22nd.