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Naval Academy Debate Team Ranked 12th in Nation

Posted on: May 16, 2013 08:00 EDT by Naval Academy Public Affairs

The Naval Academy Debate Team for this academic year was ranked 12th in the country by the American Debate Association out of 66 member schools.

The novice squad, comprised of debaters with no prior debate experience, was ranked 7th in the country, and the junior varsity squad was ranked 10th.

The novice team, composed of Midshipman 1st Class Justin Chapman and Midshipman 3rd Class Naticha Jamordee-Connor, was a semifinalist at the Clarion University tournament with Chapman winning an individual Fourth Speaker Award. 

All four novice teams advanced to elimination rounds at the Liberty University Tournament, with Midshipman 3rd Class Benjamin Graveline and Midshipman 2nd Class Christopher Dinelli receiving individual speaker awards.  The novice squad also had a strong showing at the University of Georgia tournament in February. The team made up of Graveline and Midshipman 4th Class Jacob Kotlarski advanced to quarterfinals, and Graveline was recognized as the Tenth Individual Speaker. 

The junior varsity team of Midshipman 4th Class Tyler Roach and Midshipman 3rd Class Nathan Howe also advanced to elimination rounds at the James Madison tournament and the Liberty University tournament and had a strong showing at several national-level varsity tournaments. 

The academy’s Debate Team was founded in 1946 by retired Adm. William J. Crowe when he was a midshipman. Crowe went on to become the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Ronald Reagan and ambassador to the Court of St. James under President Bill Clinton. The prestigious Crowe-Warken debate tournament held at the Naval Academy every year is named after Crowe and former Navy debate coach Dr. Phillip Warken.

The team is currently coached by Danielle Verney-O’Gorman, professor of political science, and the officer representatives are Marine Capt. Pedro Ortiz and Lt. Cmdr. Jessica Cleary.  


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