Siloam Springs, Ark. (January 26, 2005) - The John Brown University speech and debate team finished strong this past weekend, landing first overall at the Arabian Nights Speech and Debate Tournament held at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, Ark. A total of fourteen colleges and universities competed in the regional tournament, representing Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. The JBU team secured its first place finish by winning first in debate and second in individual speaking events. The point totals from the two categories determine the overall school winner. Junior Felicia Parmain and freshman Jasmine Banks, as well as juniors Daniel Ostendorff and Daniel West, advanced to semifinals in Parliamentary debate. Senior Devi Abraham and partner senior Lindsey Barnes, junior Virginia Moor and partner sophomore Josh Hoffman, and senior Virginia Scott and partner sophomore Zach Fuller all advanced to quarterfinals in Parliamentary debate. Senior Cari Middendorf and partner senior Leila McNeil also earned points for the team. The top speakers in debate were also given awards. In Parliamentary debate, Abraham placed first, followed by Ostendorff in second place, Parmain in fourth, and Moor in fifth place. Freshman Zach Bury advanced to quarterfinals in Public debate and placed fifth in overall speaker. Teammate Janet Cooney also earned points for the team in this category. In individual events, sophomore Evelyn Baldwin led the way by placing in all five events she entered. She placed second in Impromptu Speaking, second in Persuasive speaking, fourth in Prose Interpretation, fifth in Poetry Interpretation, and sixth in Dramatic Interpretation. Senior Megan Kirtley placed third in Poetry Interpretation, fifth in Dramatic Interpretation, and sixth in Prose Interpretation. Senior Victoria McCracken placed fourth in Dramatic interpretation and fourth in Poetry interpretation. Other finishes included Scott, second place in Program of Oral Interpretation; Abraham, fifth place in Impromptu speaking; Barnes, sixth place in Impromptu speaking; and Cooney, sixth place in Program of Oral Interpretation. John Brown University is a private Christian university, ranked eighth by U.S. News & World Report in the Southern Region. JBU enrolls more than 1,900 students from 43 states and 40 countries. JBU is a member of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.