CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The Southeast Missouri State University debate team has been crowned the 2018 national champions for the third consecutive year.
They earned the honor at the National Education Debate Association's National Debate Tournament last weekend at Duquesne University in Pennsylvania.
Southeast was represented by four teams competing in the public forum debate.
Students debated if the U.S. federal government should provide free college tuition to all its citizens.
The teams brought home awards for two first-place finishes.
"I am continually impressed with everyone on the team," said Dr. Avery Henry, director of SEMO debate. "The students are all incredibly talented and their success is a testament to their hard work and dedication they spend in our weekly meetings."
Junior Jasmine Jones of Florissant, Missouri, and freshman Sarah Mullinix of Wildwood, Missouri, won the novice division in public forum debate.
Junior Greg Johnson of Bolingbrook, Illinois, defended his individual championship by winning first place in the varsity division of public forum debate for the third straight year.
Johnson also won second place speaker honors, and junior Grace Lester of Wildwood, Missouri, won seventh place speaker.