UK Debate Takes Novice Championship at Season Opener

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 26, 2011) — The University of Kentucky debate team won the novice division at the Intercollegiate Debate Season Opening tournament held Sept.16-19 at Georgia State University in Atlanta. 

The UK debate team brought three teams to the tournament to compete, and the team of Alejandra Zavala and Nicole Schladt were named champions of the novice division. Schladt was also named top speaker in the novice division.

The Georgia State tournament, which is the first major national tournament of the 2011-2012 intercollegiate debate season, has three divisions of competition: novice, junior varsity and varsity. Zavala and Schladt competed against teams from Vanderbilt, Louisville, Emory and Florida State, among others, to win the novice division of the tournament.  They had a 5-1 win-loss record in the preliminary debates, and a 3-0 record in the elimination round debates, beating three Vanderbilt teams in a row to clinch the title.

Zavala, a junior majoring in nursing, is also an international student ambassador from Ecuador. Schladt, a sophomore majoring in international studies and a newly minted Chellgren Fellow, is a graduate of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington.  

“We are extremely proud of Alejandra and Nicole," said Andrea Reed, director of debate at UK. "They’ve worked hard to accomplish this feat, including attending a special workshop in Arizona this summer geared towards beginning debaters.”