Siloam Springs, Ark. (April 2, 2004) - The John Brown University speech and debate team ended the season with success at the National Christian College Forensics Invitational held on the campus of Cedarville University in Ohio March 13-15. The team placed ninth overall in the competition. Juniors Lindsey Toney and Devi Abraham secured a top four semi-final berth in Varsity Parliamentary Team Debate, ending the tournament with a 7-2 record. “Lindsey and Devi have been stellar throughout the year,” coach Jason Hough said. “To place in the top four out of 44 teams, speaks very highly of the team’s ability.” The debate team future looks strong, with impressive performances by the novice debate teams. Sophomores Evelyn Baldwin and Nicole Ediger, as well as freshmen Zach Fuller and Curtis Hartman, secured the top eighth quarter final berths in Novice Parliamentary Team Debate. “It was exciting to have our novice teams do so well,” assistant coach Heather Brewer said. “They’ve worked hard the whole year”. In addition to the team performances, Ediger secured second place, Baldwin took third, and Fuller took eighth in overall best speaker for the Novice category. In individual events, junior James Barnes secured a fourth place finish out of a field of 39 competitors with his dramatic interpretation selection about the first Gulf War. Sophomore Virginia Scott gained a semi-final berth with her prose selection detailing one mother’s account of the Columbine shootings. Overall, 23 institutions from 15 states competed in the national tournament. The team will not compete again until next fall, however preparations are already underway. “We are going to work on material and performance selections over the summer,” said Hough. “It’s our version of off-season strength training.” John Brown University is a top-tier private university, ranked 11th by U.S. News & World Report in the Southern Region. JBU enrolls more than 1,800 students from 42 states and 42 countries. JBU is a member of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.