A Tarleton State University student brought home third-place honors from the TCU Cowtown Classic Forensic Swing Tournament over the weekend.
Chelsea Mowles, a junior nursing major from Palo Pinto, Texas, recorded six wins and one loss after advancing to the semifinal round of the debate series in Fort Worth, Oct. 26-28. She was awarded third place among 25 other debaters following the three-day forensics tournament sanctioned by the International Public Debate Association.
Tarleton senior communication studies student Jordan McCabe Herbst from Evant, Texas, also made her competitive debate debut in the TCU Cowtown Classic finishing with a 2-4 record.
The TCU event included both parliamentary and IPDA debate formats, plus individual speaking events. Tarleton’s debaters entered the IPDA format that focused on contemporary topics.
Head-to-head debates continue for 20-30 minutes with a judge deciding the winner, explained Dr. Del Richey, volunteer coach for the Tarleton team. “There are six rounds in the preliminary portion of the IPDA tournament. Each round has a different topic. After finding out what the round topic is and what side they are on, students have 30 minutes to prepare before the debate starts.”
Mowles won all six of her preliminary rounds and moved to the advance rounds becoming the first Tarleton debater to progress to a final round since the team was established last year. She ultimately lost to a debater from the University of Texas at El Paso in the semifinal round, after recording a win over her peer from SMU in the varsity division. Per debate format, debaters are eliminated with a loss in the advance round.
Herbst, competing in the novice division, finished with a final record of two wins and four losses — a pair of them by just one point.
The Tarleton debate team will continue to prepare for future forensic events under the guidance of Richey and graduate assistant Christine Phipps, with tentative plans to compete at a tournament hosted by Oklahoma City University next month.
To learn more about competitive debate opportunities at Tarleton, email Richey firstname.lastname@example.org.