Debate team contends at college competition

After two days of delivering speeches and debating with students from 10 other schools, four members of the UVSC debate team walked away from their weekend competition with awards.

Ani McPherson took first place in dramatic interpretation and third place in after-dinner speaking, and was named first overall speaker in the Sept. 28-29 competition, held at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, Idaho.

Teammate Lacey Jarrett was named fifth overall speaker, while the debate team, consisting of Jarrett and Jacob Frahm, placed eighth overall out of a field of almost 50 teams. A second pair, McPherson and Jeneka VanOrden, just missed placing.
The entire team placed fifth overall, after what debate team head coach Jason Zeller called "two grueling days of competition."

"Overall, we felt pretty good," Zeller said. He added that team members expected to perform better in the debate category, but ended up performing better in the speech category.
Zeller also said the teams received their overall rankings based on the scores of all team members, which made it harder for the four UVSC representatives to place well against bigger teams.

The competition is one of about 10 in which the debate team will participate this school year, including a January debate competition for both college and high school students held at UVSC.

The debate team meets Tuesdays and Thursdays in Faculty Annex 722. Students interested in joining can contact Zeller at (307) 272-9048 or

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