This weekend, the team of Mary Rose Stepnowski and Eric Swartz travelled to Lebanon, Illinois to compete at the Bearcat Classic and Hunsaker Invitational tournaments, both held at McKendree University. The tournaments included teams ranked in the top ten nationally, several other nationally successful teams and a couple of regionally competitive teams; thirty-three teams competed throughout the weekend. Both tournaments were collapsed, meaning that all divisions competed in the same varsity group until elimination rounds. Our second round at the Hunsaker Invitational paired us against the varsity champions from the first tournament. At the conclusion of preliminary rounds, the top junior varsity teams advanced to elimination rounds in one division, while varsity debate teams hoped to advance in their respective division. At the first half, Eric and Mary Rose advanced to the semi-final round of the junior varsity division. They dropped on a 1-2 decision to McKendree. In the second tournament, the team advanced to the semi-final round for a second appearance, the only junior varsity team to do so at both tournaments. They garnered one of three ballots, losing to Illinois but earning the title of third overall in the junior varsity division.

Our next tournament is at the University of the Pacific, which will take place November 4-6.