Two pairs from Weber State University’s debate team competed in a qualifying tournament over the weekend, but neither of them qualified for the 67th National Debate Tournament.
WSU senior Dillon Olson and freshman Khalid Sharif were WSU’s A-team and hoped to qualify. They finished the tournament with a 4-2 record. They entered the elimination round as the sixth seed and debated against Gonzaga University’s A-team after beating them in the last regular round.
Only the top five teams in the district competitions qualify for the national tournament, so Olson and Sharif will be the first alternate team.
In a field of 32 students speakers competing, judges named Olson the fifth-best speaker and Sharif the 15th-best speaker.
“Although we had a winning performance, we did not have a qualifying one,” said Omar Guevara, director of forensics in an e-mail. “Now our last chance to qualify is through the second-round process, akin to an ‘open field’ in NCAA basketball. We should know in two weeks.”
WSU will host the 67th National Debate Tournament and more than 600 guests from March 28 to April 1.