Topeka, Kan. – Despite dealing with illness, the Washburn University debate team brought home second place honors from the Lincoln-Douglas “Grand Prix” tournament hosted by Western Kentucky University March 16 and 17. The “Grand Prix” is the first of two national tournaments in March and April that mark the end of the competitive debate season. 

Washburn’s Cade Blenden (junior) and Andrew Rea (junior) finished in the top eight, Logan Michael (senior) finished in the top 12 and Daniel Archer (senior) and Jacob Bailes (junior) finished in the top 16 all tournament competitors in the Open Competition. Maddox Misak (freshman) was forced to withdraw from competition at the start of Junior Varsity elimination rounds due to illness. 

Wendo Kimori (freshman), Braxton Kindel (sophomore) and Hunter Squires (junior) also competed in this tournament. Current graduate student in Washburn’s master’s communication and leadership program, Jenna Gorton, and debate program alumni Aly Fiebrantz (’11) and Matt Parnell (‘18) helped with the coaching duties for the weekend. 

“This tournament highlights the progress of each debater and the team holistically for the entire season, we can really see how everyone has grown their skills since September,” said Dr. Kevin O’Leary, director of debate and senior lecturer for communication studies for Washburn University. “Not only does our second-place finish illustrate the strength of the Washburn debate program, but it also shows the quality of our students. We truly have fun together and it shows in how we come together as a team in these competitions.”

Joining Washburn at the “Grand Prix” tournament were Central Michigan University, DePaul University, Florida State University, Fullerton College, Illinois College, Illinois State University, Lewis and Clark College, Missouri State University, Penn State University, Texas State University, Truman State University, University of Illinois, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nevada Las Vegas, University of North Texas, University of Pittsburgh and Western Kentucky University.

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
Director of Internal Communications and Brand Management
Office: 785-670-2153
Cell: 785-230-1648

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