Colorado Springs- The UNR Debate Team has returned from NPDA with extra luggage in tow. “Spending $25 of unanticipated budget money to check the National Champion Trophy isn’t a bad thing,” quipped Director Sharp in response to jokes about whether we needed to leave a Debater behind so the trophy had a seat on the plane.
This team is used to making jokes and having a lot of fun (and frugal budgeting). But the smiles are bigger than usual today. The team of Grace Miller and Daniel Armbrust finished in 9th place out of 141 teams. Daniel was awarded 8th speaker after the two went 7-1 and advanced as the #2 seed into elims. But the big news came when Grace outspoke the entire field.
This is the second time in the 24 year history of the NPDA Tournament that a Nevada debater has won the “Al” Johnson Top Speaker award. Max Alderman won it in 2011.
Miller was also recognized as an All-American. This award was given to 6 seniors who show academic success, community service, and debate success.
Based on a couple of 4-4 teams and one 2-6, the team earned 12th in Tournament Sweepstakes, besting Director Sharp’s Alma mater Western Washington by 1 spot.
The team is saying goodbye to seniors Daniel, Grace, and Evelyn Valencia. All 3 are incredible humans who care about their peers more than themselves. Their presence as debaters will be missed but their role as coaches will be appreciated. Though they will graduate, they will always be a part of the Pack.