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University Relations

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April 1, 2005
Contact: Scott Harris, debate coach, (785) 864-9878.

KU debaters conclude season with invite to Sweet 16 at national tournament


LAWRENCE -- A University of Kansas debate team concluded its successful 2004-05 season by advancing to the Sweet 16 at the National Debate Tournament, held March 24-28 at Gonzaga University, Spokane, Wash., where the top 78 intercollegiate teams competed for the national championship.

The KU team of Matt Cormack, Lincoln, Neb., junior, and Lindy Simonsen, Omaha, Neb., junior, won five of eight preliminary rounds of competition to advance to the elimination rounds. In their first elimination debate, Cormack and Simonsen defeated a team from Dartmouth University, Hanover, N.H., to advance to the Sweet 16, where they lost to a team from the University of Texas-Austin.

Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., won the national tournament.

Another KU team that qualified for nationals, Jordan Tinsley, Little Rock, Ark., senior, and Todd Jordan, Lenexa senior, went 4-4 in preliminary rounds. To advance to elimination rounds, debaters must have a 5-3 record.

KU has qualified for the national tournament 38 consecutive times, the second-longest active streak in the country. KU debaters have won the coveted national title four times. KU has sent more teams to the National Debate Tournament than any other college or university, and KU recently began a tradition of competition in the Cross-Examination Debate Association.

Scott Harris, assistant specialist in communication studies, has coached the team the past 14 years. KU communication studies graduate students assisting Harris this year are doctoral students Jan Hovden, Lawrence, and Thomas O'Toole, Glencoe, Mo., and master's degree students Phillip Samuels, Emporia, and Sarah Topp, Pelican Rapids, Minn.

JOHNSON COUNTY
From Lenexa
Todd A. Jordan, senior in history, son of Terry and Marilyn Jordan; Shawnee Mission West High School.

ARKANSAS
From Little Rock
Jordan Tinsley, senior in English, son of Ed and Paula Tinsley; Little Rock Central High School.

NEBRASKA
From Lincoln
Matthew Travis Cormack, junior in political science and economics, son of Craig and Linda Cormack; Southeast High School.

From Omaha
Lindy Simonsen, junior in women's studies and preparing to major in education, daughter of Roger and Barbara Simonsen; Millard South High School.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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