Central Wyoming College’s debate team of Nicholas Esposito and Amber Ezell-Bowman won second place in the novice division of parliamentary debate at the Pi Kappa Delta national tournament held March 17-20 in Overland Park, Kansas.

The tournament, which marks Central Wyoming College’s forensics team’s first national tournament in three decades, afforded CWC students the opportunity to compete against a number of four year colleges and universities as well as a few community colleges, said coach Jeremy Christensen.

Advancing to the final round, where Esposito and Ezell-Bowman lost to the tournament champions from Saint Cloud State University, the novice pair amassed a 5-1 record and then won elimination round debates against teams from California State University – San Bernadino and McKendree University.

Esposito and Ezell-Bowman competed against a field of 40 competitors from various colleges including Central Michigan, Purdue, and Miami universities as well as Morehouse College, the University of Houston, and more than a dozen other colleges.
Additionally, CWC student Katie Brooks along with her partner Courtney Bastillus from Eastern Wyoming College won four of six preliminary debates and advanced to the round of 16 before losing to CSU San Bernadino.

The team of Martin Diaz and Annawynn Blankenship beat teams from Gainsville State University and Eastern Wyoming, although their record did not allow them to compete in the elimination round. Garrett VonKrosigk competed in Public Forum debate with a partner from Butler University and they won half of their rounds.

Christensen is proud that his team concluded its inaugural year by finishing as a runner-up for a national title. The team also had debaters reach 22 elimination rounds, win three tournaments, one of which was a close-out by three undefeated CWC teams. The novice team also finished second twice, and its debaters earned no fewer than five speaker awards.