LAWRENCE — While the University of Kansas men's basketball team was defeating Baylor to return to No. 1 in the national rankings, KU Debate was busy winning at the National Debate Tournament district qualifying event in Edmond, Oklahoma.
KU Debate has qualified a second team for the National Debate Tournament. The KU team of Nate Martin, a junior from Lansing, and Nick Massa, a junior from Prairie Village, went 8-0 at the D3 District qualifying tournament, hosted Feb. 22-23 at the University of Central Oklahoma, to qualify as the top-seeded team out of the region. The D3 region includes all of the schools in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas. They also finished as the top two individual speakers at the tournament, with Martin finishing as the first speaker and Massa as the second speaker. It is the third year they have each qualified for the NDT but the first time qualifying together. Last year Martin advanced to the Final Four at the NDT with his partner, Jacob Hegna.
Martin and Massa join the KU team of Azja Butler, a sophomore from Lansing, and Kenny Delph, a senior from Little Rock, Arkansas, who received an automatic bid to the NDT as one of the top 16 teams in the country. In the first-round rankings, Martin and Massa were ranked as one of the top 20 teams in the country but just missed out on the top 16 automatic qualification. Butler is a two-time qualifier for the NDT, and Delph is a three-time qualifier. This is the 53rd consecutive year that KU has qualified teams for the National Debate Tournament. The NDT will be held at James Madison University from March 26-30.
The KU team of Haylee Rose, a freshman from Lawrence, and Ryan Snow, a sophomore from Highlands Ranch Colorado, competed in the Mid America Championship Tournament, compiling a 6-0 record in preliminary debates. They defeated the University of Texas- Dallas in the semifinals before losing a close 2-1 decision to the University of Texas-Austin in the Championship Debate. Snow was the second-place individual speaker, and Rose was the third-place speaker.
The District Championship was the seventh tournament championship for KU, and the final round appearance at the MAC Championship tournament was the 12th KU appearance in a final round this season.
Top right photo: Nick Massa and Nate Martin.
Bottom right photo: Ryan Snow and Haylee Rose.