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KU Debate concludes successful season

Friday, March 13, 2020

LAWRENCE — A pair of students on the University of Kansas debate team reached the Final Four in the American Debate Association National Championship.

The national collegiate debate season ended early due to the potential spread of COVID-19. The National Debate Tournament, scheduled March 26 in Harrisonburg, Virginia, was canceled March 11. KU had qualified three teams for the tournament.

"While we are disappointed that our students did not get an opportunity to compete at the NDT, we are proud of all of our squad's accomplishments this year. This was one of the best seasons in the history of the program,” said Scott Harris, David B. Pittaway Director of KU Debate. “I want to particularly congratulate our two seniors, President Kenny Delph and Vice President Julia Henry, on their excellent debate careers and thank them for their hard work and leadership."

KU reaches Final Four at American Debate Association National Championship
The KU debate team of Michael Scott, freshman from Glenview, Illinois, and Ryan Snow, sophomore from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, reached the semifinals of the National Championship tournament of the American Debate Association March 6-8 at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. The four schools in the Final Four at the tournament were Emory University, Harvard University, the University of California-Berkeley and KU.

Scott and Snow compiled a 9-1 record at the tournament. They defeated teams from the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Pittsburgh, George Mason University and Emory University before losing to the University of California-Berkeley in the semifinals. Emory defeated Berkeley in the final round to win the ADA championship.

Two other teams competed at ADA nationals, and both teams advanced to the elimination rounds. The team of Gabriel Esquivel-Yglesias, a junior from Wichita, and Lily Ottinger, a junior from Shawnee, and the team of Jimin Park, a freshman from Topeka, and Jet Semrick, a freshman from Prairie Village, each tied for 17th place at the ADA National Championship tournament.
KU wins Junior Division National Debate Championship
Last week the KU team of Haylee Rose, a first-year debater from Lawrence, and Ryan Snow won the National Junior Division Debate Tournament, a national championship tournament for students in their first two years of college debate. The tournament was hosted at the University of Houston. Rose and Snow went undefeated at the tournament.
Jon Mantis, a junior from Glenbrook, Illinois, and Solomon Park, a freshman from Overland Park, reached the semifinals of the tournament. All four of the KU debaters won top-10 speaker awards as Snow finished first, Rose second, Park fifth and Mantis sixth. 
This was the 15th NJDDT national championship for KU Debate and the sixth consecutive NJDDT won by KU.
KU qualified third team for NDT
Mickey McMahon, a freshman from Overland Park, and Michael Scott received a second-round at-large qualification for the NDT. KU was one of only six schools to qualify three teams to the national tournament. The other five schools were Dartmouth College, Emory University, Harvard University, the University of California-Berkeley and Wake Forest University. This was the fifth consecutive year that KU had qualified three teams for the NDT.

McMahon and Scott qualified for the NDT on the basis of an excellent performance in the regular season, which included reaching the elimination rounds at six consecutive tournaments, including tournaments at the University of Texas, Wake Forest University and the University of Kentucky. They won the Ziegelmueller Tournament hosted in Detroit at Wayne State University.

The other qualifying teams were Azja Butler, a sophomore from Lansing, and Kenny Delph, a senior from Little Rock, Arkansas, and Nate Martin, a junior from Lansing, and Nick Massa, a junior from Prairie Village. Previous coverage of their respective seasons is available here.

Top right photo: Ryan Snow and Michael Scott.

Middle right photo: Ryan Snow and Haylee Rose.

Bottom right photo: Michael Scott and Mickey McMahon.