October 3, 2010

Debate Team Wins National Tournament

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Ryan Yeh ’13 and Leah Salgado ’11 of the Cornell Forensics Society took first place as a team at this past weekend’s Hobart and William-Smith Fall Classic debate tournament. According to Amelia Kermis ’11, vice president of the Forensics Society, the victory marks the first time a Cornell team has won a “full tournament” this fall season. The Cornell team also placed three speakers in the final ranking of top 10 speakers in the tournament, including Yeh, Salgado, and Sally Hayes ’13.Kermis noted that the team participates in only five tournaments during the fall season, making the victory especially momentous. The 48 teams at Hobart featured debaters from across the nation.At the last tournament in Binghamton, Salgado participated with a different partner and placed second, while Yeh placed fifth with his partner. Yeh said that while the two usually have different partners, they paired up this past weekend because both of their usual teammates had prior obligations.“We’ve always done very well,” Yeh said of the Cornell team. “We were very well prepared.”Despite the success, Kermis noted that the team’s goals extend far past winning local tournaments. The debaters will travel to Vermont this fall for another major tournament, and will compete in the world tournament in Botswana in January.“Our goal for this year is to have a team in the finals and semifinals at the World Tournament,” Kermis said.

Original Author: Brendan Doyle