Speech team earns multiple first place wins

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The SMU speech team received five trophies from the Newbie Novice at Tarrant County College this past weekend. Two of those trophies were first place wins – in the informative and extemporaneous events. The extemporaneous event attracted the most student entries.

A few years ago, the speech team dissolved on campus. However, Ben Voth, director of forensics, believed that SMU had a good caliber of students who could compete in state and national events. This year, the new debate team is beginning strong.

Last weekend, each member placed in the competition. First-year Peter St. John won first place in informative and second in persuasion. First-year Spencer Gutierrez earned first place in extemporaneous. Sophomore Lindsay Barnes, speech team president, won second place in informative. SMU received the top two spots in that event.

The team placed third in the sweepstakes. This awards points per competitor to determine the strongest teams at forensic tournaments. SMU averaged 14 points per student. The sweepstakes winner, Texas Southern University, brought 18 students and averaged 5.6 points per student.

“I’m sure that the other schools and even the tournament organizers were shocked to see a team show up with only three students and then end up in the top three,” Speech Team Coach Ross Sloan said. “More than anything, that should tell you how good each of our students were this Saturday.”

The team’s next tournament, the Bayou City Swing, will be held in Houston Oct. 17 and 18. If you want to join the speech team, email Ross Sloan at srsloan@smu.edu.

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