Topeka, Kan. – The Washburn University debate team hosted and dominated the “Washburn University National Warmup” online National Forensic Association Lincoln-Douglas collegiate debate tournament Sept. 16 -17. By the Final Four only Washburn debaters remained, ending competition and giving Washburn University debate the clean sweep of semifinals and beyond. Washburn alumna and director of debate at Illinois State University, Shanna Carlson (’09), led the tabulation of the Washburn tournament. 

     After six preliminary rounds, Washburn cleared seven debaters to elimination rounds.  Daniel Archer (senior), Logan Michael (senior), Andrew Rea (senior) and Cade Blendan (junior) were the final four debaters of the tournament. Maddox Misak (freshman) and Jacob Bailes (junior) finished as quarterfinalists (Elite 8), and Hunter Squires (junior) ended up as an octafinalist (Sweet 16). Alfonso Rascon (freshman) and Jyaira Ware (freshman.) made their first appearance with Washburn debate team this weekend.

    "Washburn debate is starting in a very strong position this season, not only dominating this opening tournament but we retained many debaters from our championship 2022-2023 season,” said Dr. Kevin O’Leary, director of debate and senior lecturer for communication studies for Washburn University. “The Washburn University debate team was recognized as the number two collegiate debate team in the entire country after their competitive success at the 2023 National Forensic Association Lincoln Douglas Championships April 13-17, 2023.

        “We were also very fortunate to add five freshmen with a lot of rich high school debate experience to the team this year.”

          Alumni Kelly Burns (’19), Carlos Cedillo-Silva (’23), Aly Fiebrantz Asware (’11), Matt Parnell (’18) and Emily Unruh (’21), along with current graduate assistant in the Washburn University master of arts in communication and leadership program, Jenna Gorton (’23), joined the team to help coach debaters this weekend.

           Florida State University, Fresno City College, Illinois College, Illinois State University, Marshall University, Minnesota State University Mankato, Tallahassee Community College, Texas Tech University, Truman State University, University of Nebraska Lincoln, University of Nevada Las Vegas and the University of Pittsburgh competed in this tournament as well.

            O’Leary and Steve Doubledee, assistant director of debate and senior lecturer for communication studies for Washburn University, are the debate coaches for Washburn University. The Washburn University debate program focuses on Lincoln-Douglas, or LD, debate format. LD is a debate format that follows the basic time schedule 6 - 3 - 7 - 3 - 4 - 6 - 3. Each debater gets 13 minutes of total speaking time, and three minutes of question time. The rounds take approximately 45 minutes in total. Each debater receives four to five minutes of preparation time to use between speeches however they like.

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For further information, contact:
Joy Bailes
Assistant Director of Public Relations
Office: 785-670-2153
Cell: 785-230-1648
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