Marquez, Powell and Zhang place in MSU debate tournament


Courtesy of Mariane Powell

Speech and Debate compeitiors (from left to right) junior Mariane Powell, senior Christina Zhang and junor Lucianna Marquez pose with awards after competition.

Julian Gallo, Staff Writer

MSMS Speech and Debate Team juniors Mariane Powell and Lucianna Marquez were named semifinalists in the Public Forum of Mississippi State University’s Cowbell Classic held Jan. 20-21. 

Additionally, senior Christina Zhang placed fourth in Congressional Debate at the event.

The team members said they prepared very hard for the tournament. Zhang said she wrote many speeches before the tournament.

“The bills I had to debate during finals were about banning energy drinks and legalizing physician-assisted suicide,” Zhang said. “The speeches were very toiling to write since the topics are so unfamiliar.”

Powell, who missed the first tournament covering the January resolution about Western Asian geopolitics, said the topic was nuanced and required extra research.

“I am really proud of how Lucianna and I did considering we were the only novice team out of the semifinalists,” Powell said. “We had to look at the resolution from multiple angles and really think outside the box to come up with arguments.” 

Juniors Jacob Neal and Audrey Guynes, and seniors Dyllon Martin, Dia Kher and Mariah Bailey also competed in the Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Congressional Debate, Impromptu Speaking and Prose competitions.

“The competition was really fun, and it was filled with really talented students,” Martin said. “Everyone put their own spin on their pieces, and everything was incredibly professional and organized. All in all, it was a super fun experience!”