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Debaters take first in Big Twelve tournament

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College debate and forensics team members turned in strong performances Nov. 9-11 at the Big Twelve South Swing Tournament, hosted by the University of Oklahoma and Texas Tech on the OU campus in Norman.

In the Nov. 9 debate tournament, Bethel was one of nine schools competing. The team of Rebecca Buchta, sophomore from Newton, and Rodney Wren, junior from Newton, advanced to finals to beat Texas Tech 3-0 and bring home first place in debate. Wren received the Top Speaker Award. Those two prizes gave Bethel second place in the Debate Team Sweepstakes.

Bethel competed with eight other schools in the Nov. 10-11 individual events tournament. On Saturday, Buchta placed first in Communication Analysis, fourth in Impromptu Speaking and fifth in Extemporaneous Speaking. Wren also earned a first-place award, in Extemporaneous Speaking, along with second in both Impromptu Speaking and Dramatic Interpretation of Literature and fifth in Communication Analysis.

On Sunday, Dana Daugharthy, sophomore from Iola, placed fifth in Prose Interpretation. Buchta was third in both Communication Analysis and Impromptu Speaking. Wren placed second in Dramatic Interpretation of Literature and sixth in Extemporaneous Speaking, Impromptu Speaking and Communication Analysis.

On both Saturday and Sunday, Wren received third place in Top Speaker for Individual Events. He was named Top Overall Speaker (a category that factors in both individual events and debate). Bethel was second in the Overall School Sweepstakes (also factors in debate along with individual events) and third in the Individual Events Sweepstakes.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the highest ranked Kansas college in the national liberal arts category of U.S. News & World Report’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2008. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at

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