Topeka, Kan. – The Washburn University debate team won the tournament championship at the “Redbird Classic” National Forensic Association Lincoln-Douglas collegiate debate tournament Nov. 4-5 hosted by Illinois State University in Normal, Ill. This was the second time this debate season that only Washburn debaters remained for the Final Four, ending competition and giving the Washburn University debate the clean sweep of semifinals and beyond.

     Going into the Elite 8 rounds, seven of the eight debaters remaining were from Washburn: Cade Blenden (junior), Daniel Archer (senior), Maddox Misak (freshman), Alfonso Rascon (freshman), Andrew Rea (senior), Hunter Squires (junior) and Jacob Bailes (junior). This set up a single debate in the Elite 8 where Washburn’s Blenden won the sole remaining competition with a 3-0 decision. Archer, Misak and Rascon advanced to the semifinals (Final Four). Rea, Squires and Bailes finished as quarterfinalists (Elite 8). Washburn debaters Logan Michael (senior), Braxton Kindel (sophomore) and Ethan Soto (freshman) finished as octafinalists (Sweet 16).

     In novice competition, Wendo Kimori (freshman) was the runner-up, losing in a 2-1 decision in the final round. Jyaira Ware (freshman) went 3 -3 in preliminary rounds, narrowly missing advancing to elimination rounds. These first-year students earned first and second place in the novice debate category and were recognized as the top two individual speakers in the novice ranks at the University of North Texas tournament Oct. 13 – 15.

    “We consider the Redbird Classic tournament, run by Washburn University debate alumna Shanna Carlson and the director of debate at Illinois State University, the “Fall Nationals” as it is always one of the largest and most competitive tournaments in the first semester,” said Dr. Kevin O’Leary, director of debate and senior lecturer for communication studies for Washburn University. “The team’s results here bode very well for the rest of the season.”

     Florida State University was the second-place debate squad and Central Michigan University rounded out the top three. Fullerton College, Illinois State University, Illinois College, John A. Logan College, John Carroll University, Marshall University, Purdue University, Texas Tech University, Truman State University, University of Illinois, University of Nebraska Lincoln, University of North Texas, University of Pittsburgh and Western Kentucky 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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