Samford University varsity debaters Dan Bagwell and Jacob Lewis returned from their first competition of the season with the highest showing posted by a Samford team in the 13-year history of the Georgia State National Debate Tournament.
The Samford duo defeated a top 32-ranked team from Towson University on a 3-0 decision in the first elimination round to advance to the Sweet Sixteen, where they lost 2-1 to a Gonzaga University team they had defeated in preliminary rounds.
Bagwell and Lewis had claimed 6 out of 7 wins in preliminary rounds to go into elimination rounds ranked fifth of the 132 teams at the tournament, held Sept. 17-19 in Atlanta, Ga.
Bagwell was named 6th best speaker among 264 individual speakers at the tournament. This is the first time a Samford debater has been ranked among the top 10 speakers at this season-opening tournament, according to debate coach Abi Williams.
Bagwell is a senior journalism/mass communication major from Blakely, Ga. Lewis is a senior history major from Monticello, Fla.