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KU Debate wins third tournament championship of semester

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas debate team of sophomore Christopher Fry and junior William Katz won a tournament hosted by the University of Central Oklahoma. The Kansas duo defeated the University of Texas in the championship debate. This marked the third tournament that KU teams have won this semester and the second consecutive weekend KU has won a tournament.

Other schools competing at the tournament, which took place Nov. 4-6, included Baylor University, Emporia State University, Johnson County Community College, Kansas State University, Missouri State University, Trinity University, University of Central Oklahoma, University of Houston, University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of Northern Iowa, University of Texas, University of Texas-Dallas and Wichita State University.Fry and Katz advanced to the single elimination debates after compiling a 5-1 record in the preliminary debates Friday and Saturday. In the single elimination rounds they defeated the University of Texas-Dallas in the round of 16, Baylor University in the quarterfinals, Wichita State in the semifinals and Texas in the tournament final. The victory over Texas avenged their only loss in the preliminary debates.

Five other KU pairs competed at the tournament. The KU teams of freshmen Zoe Crater and Kara Fort, freshmen Kyndall Delph and Colton Glasscock, freshmen Julia Henry and Spencer Sosalla-Bahr, freshmen Nick Schroeder and Jake Thomas, and sophomores Lainey Schrag and Tyler Woodcock all finished the preliminary rounds with three wins and three losses and just missed qualifying for the single elimination rounds. 

The debaters who did not reach elimination rounds helped provide valuable research assistance to the KU team of Fry and Katz on their run through the elimination rounds. 

“A large group of young and talented debaters worked together all weekend,” said Assistant Coach Justin Kirk. “While Will Katz and Christopher Fry deserve individual praise, the squad as a whole deserves recognition for their outstanding efforts. Even after many debaters were no longer competing in the tournament, they worked tirelessly to help Fry and Katz the entire day on Sunday.” 

Assistant Coach Jyleesa Hampton echoed those sentiments.

"What's so beautiful about coaching at Kansas is that we believe we are not out of the tournament until the last team is done competing. This weekend all six of our teams performed phenomenally.

“The hard work of debaters, support of coaches and collective team work shined through, and I was excited to see the KU team of Will Katz and Christopher Fry emerge as the champions of the University of Central Oklahoma collegiate debate tournament."

This was the third tournament KU Debate has won this semester. The team of sophomore Sion Bell and junior Quaram Robinson won the first tournament of the year at the University of Missouri Kansas City, and the team of sophomores Jacob Hegna and Henry Walter won a tournament last week at Gonzaga University. In addition, the team of freshmen Julia Henry and Spencer Sosalla-Bahr took second place at a tournament hosted by Kansas City Kansas Community College, and four different KU teams have also finished in third place at tournaments. 

“We are very proud of the excellent semester the debaters have had,” said Associate Head Coach Brett Bricker.

KU Debate will wrap up the fall semester schedule with a final tournament at Wake Forest University from Nov. 19-21. KU will be hosting the National Debate Tournament March 23-27 at the end of the season. 

Last year the team of Sion Bell and Quaram Robinson finished as the national runner-up at the National Debate Tournament.