KU Debate Ends Year Ranked First

The KU Debate team finished first in the NDT national varsity debate rankings and won numerous other post season awards.

The 2014-15 KU debate squad ended the regular season ranked number one in the country in the NDT Varsity debate rankings. It is the 3rd time in the past ten years that KU has won the national varsity rankings championship. This year they have carried that success into the post season and collected several prestigious individual and team awards at the Cross Examination Debate Association National Tournament hosted at Wichita State University March 20-23.
Jyleesa Hampton received the Johnston Award as the National Debater of the Year. Dr. Scott Harris, the David Pittaway Director of Debate at KU, said; “Jyleesa is an outstanding debater and an inspiration and role model for the entire debate community.” Coach Harris was recognized with the Brownlee Award as the National Debate Coach of the Year. Wichita State University head coach Dr. Jeff Jarman, in presenting the award, declared; “Scott Harris is the best debate coach in the country and it is about time we recognized him with the Brownlee Award.”
KU teams had an impressive showing at the CEDA National Tournament. 116 teams from across the country competed for the CEDA Championship. The team of Jyleesa Hampton and Quaram Robinson went undefeated through eight preliminary rounds and advanced to the elimination rounds as the top seed at the tournament. In elimination rounds they defeated the United States Military Academy, the University of Texas-Dallas, and the University of West Georgia to reach the Final Four. They defeated the University of Oklahoma in the semifinals to advance to the finals before falling on a 6-3 split decision to Towson State University in the championship debate. Jyleesa was the 2nd place individual speaker at the tournament and Quaram was the 5th place speaker.
Four other KU teams advanced to the elimination rounds at the tournament. The team of Chris Carey and Nick Khatri reached the Sweet 16 before losing to the City University of New York. The teams of Ciera Foreman/Hunter Goh and Amit Battla /Madison Cook advanced to the round of 32. In the preliminary rounds Battla-Cook had a win over the Towson team that won the tournament while Foreman-Goh had a win over the Oklahoma team that reached the final four. The KU team of Bradley Harris/Mikaela Wefald also advanced to the elimination rounds at the tournament. Assistant KU coach Sean Kennedy stated; “We are very proud of the entire squad for a tremendous season and a great showing at the CEDA National Tournament.”
The previous weekend the team of Battla-Cook won the National Junior Division Debate Tournament, a national championship tournament for debaters in their first two years of college debate, hosted at Johnson County Community College. It was the 2nd consecutive year that Battla-Cook won the JV National Championship tournament and the eighth time KU debaters have won the NJDDT in the past 11 years. The KU team of Will Katz and Dylan Robb took 3rd place at the tournament.
Jyleesa Hampton and Chris Carey were both named to the All American Debate Team. 11 members of the KU Debate team were named National Debate Scholars as members of the all-academic team. KU’s National Debate Scholars are: (Summa Cum Laude) Aaron Miller; (Magna Cum Laude) Bradley Harris, Chris Carey, Hunter Goh, Mikaela Wefald, Amit Battla; (Cum Laude) Jared Nelson, Megan Mapes, Sean Duff, Jyleesa Hampton; (Honorable Mention) Ciera Foreman.
KU will end its season at the National Debate Tournament hosted at the University of Iowa April 3-6. Three KU teams have qualified to compete at the NDT in the 78 team field. Representing KU at the NDT will be the teams of Hampton-Robinson, Carey-Khatri, and Foreman-Goh. The only other schools to qualify three teams for the field are Emory University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, the University of Kentucky and the University of Michigan. It is the 48th consecutive year that KU has qualified teams for the National Debate Tournament. KU has won the National Debate Tournament five times and had 14 teams advance to the Final Four.

Posted by Scott Harris on September 28, 2015