KU debate honored for top rankings this season, over past 20 years

photo by: Contributed photo

University of Kansas freshman Azja Butler, of Leavenworth, and junior Kyndall Delph, of Little Rock, Ark., hold their second-place trophy at the 2019 Cross Examination Debate Association National Championship Tournament in Long Beach, Calif.

The University of Kansas debate program has been honored for its performance not just this season but over the past 20 years.

The Cross Examination Debate Association awarded KU its top team ranking, based on points earned at tournaments, for the 2018-2019 season during the recent CEDA National Championship Tournament. The CEDA also awarded its Founders Award to KU for accumulating the most total points during competitions over the past 20 years. KU announced the awards this week in a news release.

KU debaters competed in 591 debates at 21 tournaments across the country over the course of the season, KU said in its release, and 21 KU debaters advanced to the elimination rounds at a tournament.

“This award is special because it is a reflection of the depth of talent and the hard work of the entire debate squad,” KU Director of Debate Scott Harris said in the release. “Every member of the team contributed to this award, and this was a remarkable season.”

The KU team of freshman Azja Butler, of Leavenworth, and junior Kyndall Delph, of Little Rock, Ark., finished in second place at the CEDA tournament, which took place during the first week of April at California State University in Long Beach, Calif.

Their success followed a Final Four appearance in late March at the 73rd National Debate Tournament. The KU debate team of Jacob Hegna, a senior from Overland Park, and Nate Martin, a sophomore from Lansing, lost in the semifinal round to the eventual national champion. A KU team won the National Debate Tournament in 2018, the school’s sixth championship at the tournament since 1954.

In a KU news release, CEDA Treasurer Joe Patrice said the NDT could be compared to the Masters Tournament in golf — a smaller, selective field — while the CEDA Tournament was analogous to golf’s U.S. Open — a larger field open to all competitors.

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