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Debate team tops national rankings

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas debate team finished first in the country for the fall semester in the National Debate Tournament Varsity Rankings.  The rankings are based on points earned by schools at all tournaments during the fall.  The top-10 debate teams are as follows:

1.    University of Kansas (370 points)
2.    Wake Forest University (329 points) 
3.    Liberty University (321)
4.    George Mason University (287 points)
5.    University of Oklahoma (285 points)
6.    University of California-Berkeley (268 points)
7.    University of Michigan (253 points)
8.    Emory University (249 points)
9.    Michigan State University (244 points)
10.    Binghamton University (241 points).

Members of the KU debate team competed at 11 tournaments during the first semester, including tournaments at Georgia State University, Harvard University, Wake Forest University, Weber State University and UNLV.  KU teams qualified for the elimination rounds at every tournament KU attended.  

Eighteen KU debaters reached the elimination rounds of debate tournaments this semester, including Matthew Bevens, Topeka; Amit Bhatla, Lenexa; Chris Carey, Westwood Hills; Madison Cook, Shawnee; Sean Duff, Iowa City, Iowa; Ciera Foreman, Overland Park; Tom Garvey, Valley Center; Hunter Goh, Bakersfield, California; Jyleesa Hampton, Overland Park; Bradley Harris, Lawrence; Will Katz, Topeka; Nick Khatri, Edina, Minnesota; Megan Mapes, Topeka; Aaron Miller, Overland Park; Sahil Rattan, Topeka; Dylan Robb, Englewood, Colorado; Quaram Robinson, Round Rock, Texas, and Mikaela Wefald, Manhattan, Kansas. 

Two KU debate pairings, Hampton/Robinson and Carey/Khatri, were the highest point-producing pairs and are both ranked in the top 25 individual teams in the country.  

Five different KU pairs reached the semifinals of a tournament this semester; Hampton/Robinson, Carey/Khatri, Harris/Robb, Katz/Rattan and Duff/Garvey. Six different KU debaters received individual speaker awards at tournaments: Hampton, Robinson, Khatri, Duff, Garvey and Bradley Harris.  

“We are very proud of the performance of the entire debate squad this fall.  The top ranking is a reflection of the depth of talent on the team,” said Scott Harris, KU Debate coach.

The spring semester travel schedule for the debate team will begin Jan. 3, 2015, with part of the squad traveling to California to compete at the University of Southern California while the rest of the squad travels to Texas to compete at the University of Texas at Dallas.  In the spring KU will be attempting to qualify for the National Debate Tournament for the 48th consecutive year.

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