SMU debate attended the largest tournament of the fall semester at Louisiana Statue University Shreveport this weekend (November 4-6) and had two of the top two competitors in novice and professional divisions. Sarah Mende was the top novice competitor among 69 student competitors from 20 different universities. SMU had a 57% win/loss rate in 42 preliminary rounds of debate about congressional elections, entertainment, education, genocide, philosophy and more. Competing schools included: Abilene Christian University, University of Arkansas, Dallas Baptist University, Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State University, Union University, the University of Southern Mississippi and many more Mende won the coveted pilot award as the 3rd best overall competitor beating out more than 100 other collegiate competitors. She was also the 4th speaker overall in the novice division. She lost in the double octafinals debate as the #1 preliminary seed. Eric Ryan won his first varsity elimination round after completing a 4-3 preliminary record. He and his partner Hailey Hazen were 2-2 in team debate. Hazen also competed in the varsity division. Kaleb Simes narrowly missed advancing in varsity with a 3-4 record. Maggie Cook Allen was the top professional debater with a 6-1 record in prelims. She advanced to the quarterfinals of the elimination round debates. Teams were coached by director Ben Voth, Keith Milstead and Ryan Booth.