Archive for Wednesday, March 10, 2010

No argument here: KU Debate one of strongest programs in nation

The six Kansas University qualifiers for the National Debate Tournament are, from left, Mark Wilkins, Dylan Quigley, Chris Stone, Patrick Kennedy, Mathew Petersen and Sean Kennedy. KU is one of only six programs in the country that will send three teams to the national tournament.

The six Kansas University qualifiers for the National Debate Tournament are, from left, Mark Wilkins, Dylan Quigley, Chris Stone, Patrick Kennedy, Mathew Petersen and Sean Kennedy. KU is one of only six programs in the country that will send three teams to the national tournament.

March 10, 2010

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Kansas University will be sending three teams to compete in the National Debate Tournament for the first time in 17 years.

Only six teams across the nation may qualify a third team for the tournament — and KU has now done so twice in the 64-year history of the prestigious national tournament, which KU won last year.

“It requires you to have at least six really talented debaters and the resources to be able to travel all around the country,” said Scott Harris, KU debate coach.

The national championship tournament is scheduled for March 19-23 at the University of California-Berkeley.

Mathew Petersen, Wichita senior, and Mark Wilkins, Topeka sophomore, received an at-large bid as KU’s third team last week.

Two other KU teams — Chris Stone, Derby senior, and Patrick Kennedy, Leawood junior, along with Dylan Quigley, Wichita senior, and Sean Kennedy, Leawood junior — had already qualified earlier through an at-large process that identified the top 16 teams in the country.

The debaters described the national tournament as a gathering of the top 78 teams in the country. There are no easy rounds.

“You get no sleep,” Quigley said. “And you consume a lot of caffeinated drinks.”

The debaters will be joined at the tournament by more than 20 other supporters from KU who will help in researching and scouting other teams.

Stone called the tournament the “end-all, be-all” of debate tournaments, where there’s no chance of getting a round off.

“Everyone’s on the top of their game,” Wilkins said. “So you can’t take anyone for granted.”

Harris, whose top team of Nate Johnson and Brett Bricker won the tournament last year, said that one of KU Debate’s goals this year was to qualify three teams for the tournament.

As two of the KU teams are ranked among the top 16 teams in the country, Harris said he hopes to return to at least the “sweet 16” of the elimination rounds this year, and see how things go from there.

“Anything can happen,” he said.

Comments

Ryan Shumaker 5 years, 2 months ago

QQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ

seriouscat 5 years, 2 months ago

Congratulations KU! and to the students who made it possible...good luck and keep up the hard work!

Jeff Plinsky 5 years, 2 months ago

What this article doesn't say, but that needs to be said, is in their free time most (and maybe all) of these guys spend time helping to coach/work with area high school debate squads to make the young kids better.

And they don't get in fights with the mock trial squad outside Burge.

Congrats, guys! On a good season, and on being a class act.

Larry Bauerle Jr. 5 years, 2 months ago

Rock Chalk! Great job! I'm stunned it took 5 posts for the athletics comparisons to begin :-).

Richard Payton 5 years, 2 months ago

Hope to read another I-70 billboard about KU being debate champions! The article doesn't mention the schools name of the other teams please post the sweet 16 debate teams!

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