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University Relations

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October 28, 2005
Contact: Scott Harris, debate coach, (785) 864-9878.

KU Debate Team tied for first in national rankings with Missouri State University

LAWRENCE -- The University of Kansas debate team is tied for first place with Missouri State University in the national varsity rankings after the first fall rounds of National Debate Tournament competition. KU is one of two Big 12 Conference universities with a Top 10 ranking.

The national rankings represent an accumulation of the number of debate rounds won by a school over the course of the season. This weekend, KU debaters and their coach, Scott Harris, are at the Harvard College Debate Tournament for matches Oct. 29-31 at Cambridge, Mass.

The two-person team of Matt Cormack, Lincoln, Neb., senior, and Andrew Jennings, Silver Lake sophomore, placed first Sept. 17-19 at the University of Northern Iowa tournament at Cedar Falls, Iowa. Also reaching elimination rounds at that tournament were three teams: Lindsey Lathrop, Overland Park junior, and Brett Bricker, Wichita sophomore; Nate Johnson, Manhattan sophomore, and Jon Wright, Topeka junior; and Ronnie Press and Joel Kasten, both Wichita freshmen.

Lathrop and Bricker won the Kansas City Kansas Community College tournament held Oct. 21-23 in Kansas City, Kan., where Press and Kasten also reached elimination rounds. The Press-Kasten team took second at the Missouri State University tournament held Oct. 1-3 in Springfield, Mo.

In addition, the KU debate team has had multiple teams reach elimination rounds at tournaments Sept. 24-26 at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Ga., where Cormack and Jennings reached the octafinal round, and Oct. 8-10 at the Henry Clay Debates at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky., where Cormack and Jennings again reached the octafinal round and Bricker and Lathrop reached the double octafinal round.

Other schools in the Top 10 are the University of California-Berkeley, third; University of Texas at Dallas, fourth; Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash., fifth; Baylor University, Waco, Texas, sixth; Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H., seventh; Emory University, Atlanta, Ga., eighth; University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, Okla., ninth; and Wayne State University, Detroit, Mich., 10th.

Debate team members are listed below by name, hometown, level in school, major, parents and high school attended.

From Overland Park
Lindsey Lathrop, junior in political science, daughter of Robert and Kelly Lathrop; Blue Valley Northwest High School.

From Manhattan
Nate Johnson, sophomore in political science and pre-law, son of Ronald and Betty Johnson; Manhattan High School.

From Wichita
Brett Bricker, sophomore in mathematics, son of Gary and Norma Bricker; Wichita High School Southeast.
Joel Kasten, freshman in political science, son of Roger and Leah Kasten; Wichita High School Southeast.
Ronnie Press, freshman in political science, son of Arthur and Judith Press; Wichita High School Southeast.

From Silver Lake
Andrew Jennings, sophomore in political science, son of Kathy Jennings; Silver Lake Junior-Senior High School.

From Topeka
Jon Wright, junior in journalism and mass communications (strategic communications emphasis) and political science, son of Jeffrey and Sonya Wright; Washburn Rural High School.

From Lincoln
Matt Cormack, senior in economics and political science, son of Craig and Linda Cormack; Lincoln Southeast High School.


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