Though only the second tournament of the semester, Tech was clearly outfitted and prepared for the Berea College speech and debate tournament this past weekend.

Tech member Ryan Goke captured fifth place in impromptu counseling, and secured sixth place in radio broadcasting while teammates Marcelo Gonzales and Justin Hilliard were quarterfinalists in the open division of NPDA debate.

The team as a whole was sure to make their mark as well. In a field of 22 colleges, Tech earned a second-place trophy for the debate sweepstakes award in the large school division.

Gonzales also won fourth place speaker award in the open division of NPDA debate, and succeeded to semifinals in impromptu speaking.

“I absolutely love speaking,” Gonzales said. “The general discourse that comes with debate is fantastic not only during the debate but also after the debate. I get to talk with people I would’ve never had the opportunity to talk with and we get to discuss actual issues and ideas about our society.”

Gonzales believes what sets him apart from other debaters is his organization and approach as he conveys his debate platform to the public. In fact, he has earned an intercollegiate reputation for the final arguments portion in debate, known as voters.

“I manage to mix emotion and logic to carefully craft impactful arguments that will stay with the judge,” Gonzales said.

Coach Jacob Metz believes the Berea experience has served to provide further validation to training methods used, as it has consistently proven to be a quality tournament.

The Golden Eagles are scheduled to debate next at Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro Oct. 28-30.