JACKSON, Tenn. – April 18, 2012 – Union University sophomore Abby Williams won the International Public Debate Association national championship in the “varsity debate” category at the IPDA national tournament April 12-15 at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.
In the final round, Williams defeated Nathan Johnston from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. The two debated the resolution, “Hydraulic fracturing is worth the risk,” with Williams debating the negative side.
“We’ve won the tournament as a team before, but Abby is our first individual championship tournament winner,” said Web Drake, coach of Union’s debate team. “She got a lot of help from her teammates in preparing her cases, so this is a team win in a lot of ways. Still, what she was able to pull off in-round is a complete tribute to her abilities, drive and hard work.”
The IPDA national tournament included more than 200 competitors in three divisions (77 in varsity). Students came from 24 schools in eight states.
Williams, from Springdale, Ark., is a double major in music and English.
Union’s team finished second in the sweepstakes competition. A full listing of how Union team members fared is posted at unioncommarts.com/2012/04/abby-williams-claims-2012-ipda-varsity-national-championship.