Four members of the University of Mary Washington Debate Team competed in the National Debate Tournament at Atlanta’s Emory University in early spring. The event featured 78 teams this year, all chosen based on a competitive qualification process. Mary Washington finished 23rd overall.
The UMW debaters worked through parts of summer, winter, and spring breaks, researching topics, practicing speeches, and formulating arguments in anticipation of the qualifying and national tournaments. The extra effort paid off.
Patrick McCleary ’14 of Shrewsbury, Pa., and Colin McElhinny ’14 of Erie, Pa., qualified for the second consecutive year; they placed second in the District 7 qualifying tournament hosted by Mary Washington in February.
Peter Susko ’12 of Erie and Thomas Pacheco ’14 of Baltimore finished eighth in the qualifying tournament, securing the district’s final spot for the national competition. Susko had qualified for the event in previous years. In 2010, he and former teammate Kevin Kallmyer ’10 claimed UMW’s best-ever national tournament finish, placing third.
The UMW Debate Team, coached by Adrienne Brovero, has qualified 16 times to take part in the national competition.