Siloam Springs, Ark. (December 9, 2004) - John Brown University’s speech and debate team demonstrated continued success at the first regional tournament of the academic year, Dec. 3-4 at Cameron University in Lawton, Okla. The team placed second in debate and tied for fourth place in the overall school division. "I was very impressed with our team,” Jason Hough, speech and debate coach said. “This was a very tough tournament because other schools have already competed at least twice already this semester. This being our first time and finishing so strong, I will be excited to see what the rest of the season brings.” Twenty-two schools representing Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Louisiana, and Tennessee participated in the tournament. Leading the JBU team were sophomore Virginia Moor and freshman Josh Hoffman. With an overall tournament record of 7-2, the team advanced to finals in Novice Parliamentary debate before losing to a team from Hutchinson Community College in a 2-1 decision. Moor also earned points for the team by securing third place overall best speaker in Novice debate out of 38 competitors. Other Novice debate team members added to the team’s success. Sophomore partners Ben Rasmussen and Abby Kirkbride secured a quarter-finals berth with a 5-1 record, and senior Leila McNeill, along with senior partner Cari Middendorf, had a 4-2 record and a quarter-finals berth. Senior Devi Abraham assisted the team by securing first place overall best speaker in Open (advanced) debate out of 50 competitors. Also earning debate points for the team were seniors Janet Cooney, Virginia Scott, Lindsey Toney, and Daniel West, junior Asa Fry and sophomore Zach Fuller, Daniel Ostendorff. The team also garnered success in various public speaking events with sophomore Evelyn Baldwin leading the team. She received first place in Holiday Literature, and sixth place in Impromptu Speaking. Combined with point totals from four other events she competed in, she also placed fourth in the Pentathalon, which is a five event qualification. Senior Virginia Scott place fifth in Oral Interpretation, and junior Leila McNeil secured a semi-final berth in Poetry Interpretation. Also earning public speaking points for the team were students Abraham, Toney, Rasmussen, Fuller, Cooney, junior Felicia Parmain, junior Jessica Hunsberger, senior Victoria McCracken, sophomore Diana Sasso, and senior James Barnes. The team will see its next competition Jan. 21-23 at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, Ark. 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.