LAWRENCE — A second University of Kansas team has qualified for the National Debate Tournament. Addison Schile, a sophomore from Topeka, and Nick Khatri, a junior from Edina, Minn., qualified for the National Debate Tournament through a tournament hosted by the University of Central Oklahoma from Feb. 28 to March 2. The pair defeated teams from Kansas State University, the University of Texas, Missouri State University, the University of Texas-Dallas and the University of Central Oklahoma to qualify for nationals.
The National Debate Tournament will take place March 28-31 at Indiana University, and the field is selected through multiple steps.
The first step is the top-16 individual teams in the country based on performance throughout the season are given an automatic spot in the field. The KU pair of Melanie Campbell, a senior from Lenexa, and Kevin Birzer, a freshman from Leawood, qualified for one of those spots.
The next 46 teams in the field are selected through eight regional qualifying tournaments representing various sections of the country. KU’s regional qualifying tournament includes all schools from the states of Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. The pair of Schile and Khatri qualified by finishing in the top eight teams at the regional tournament.
Other schools qualifying through the regional are the University of Oklahoma, the University of Houston, the University of Texas, the University of North Texas, Trinity University, Baylor University, the University of Central Oklahoma and Kansas City Kansas Community College.
The final 16 slots in the field will go to the best remaining teams in the country who did not qualify through regional tournaments based on performance throughout the season.
This is the 47th consecutive year that KU has qualified teams for the National Debate Tournament. KU also has qualified for the NDT in 60 of the 65 years the tournament has take place.
KU has won the National Debate Tournament five times and reached the final four 14 times, most recently winning the national championship in 2009.