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Blinn College speech and debate team wraps up successful first season

New team already gearing up for next year’s competitions

February 25, 2014

The Blinn College speech and debate team brought home five individual awards this weekend after competing against nine colleges and universities in its final competition of the season at Texas State University.

Gabriella Lugo, a first-year student from San Antonio, placed seventh in informative speaking on Saturday and sixth on Sunday. Elisa Mayer, a first-year student from Eddy, took fifth in informative speaking Saturday and seventh on Sunday, and also placed sixth in impromptu speaking Saturday.

Both competed in several qualifying rounds to reach the tournament finals.

Competitors from Texas A&M University, the University of Texas, Texas State University, Louisiana State University, the University of Texas – El Paso, Prairie View A&M University, Lone Star College – North Harris, Tyler Junior College and Central Texas College brought approximately 70 entries to each day of the tournament.

Since launching at the beginning of the Fall semester, Blinn’s speech and debate team has trained with Visual and Performing Arts instructors Kathryn Kelly and Betsy Stoltz.

“Gabriella and Elisa are hard workers and it is always rewarding to see hard work pay off,” said Kelly, team director. “We couldn’t be more proud of their successes as first-semester competitors.”

Though the regular competition season has concluded, students are already gearing up for Fall competitions. Students from other institutions memorize, prepare and polish their performances during the summer before competition kicks off, Stoltz said.

“Our students met the competition head-on and made gains with every competition despite having only one semester of preparation,” she said.

More than 4,000 students are enrolled in Blinn’s Division of Visual & Performing Arts, which offers 51 courses, including architectural design, interior design, drawing, painting, ceramics, digital art, photography, watercolor, music theory, music appreciation, voice study, the Select Choral Ensemble, acting, argumentation, professional speaking and introductory speech. For more information, visit: