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September 27, 2005
Contact: Scott Harris, debate coach, (785) 864-9878.

KU Debate Team wins first tournament of season Sept. 17-19 in Iowa

LAWRENCE -- The University of Kansas Debate Team began its 2005-06 intercollegiate season by winning the varsity and junior varsity divisions overall Sept. 17-19 at the University of Northern Iowa Ulrich Season Opener Debate Tournament at Cedar Falls, Iowa.

"We're looking forward to an exciting year," said Scott Harris, KU debate coach and assistant specialist in communication studies. "We finished last year strong, and we have a lot of returning talent. We also had a good recruiting year and have a strong freshman class. KU debate will be strong this year."

At the Ulrich tournament, KU's five teams competed against 45 teams, including those from schools in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri and Texas as well as Kansas State University and Emporia State University.

The varsity team of Matt Cormack, Lincoln, Neb., senior, and Andrew Jennings, Silver Lake sophomore, defeated a team from Wayne State University to win the division. To reach the final round, the pair defeated teams from the University of Michigan, Baylor University and Missouri State University.

Three other varsity teams reached elimination rounds before losing to Wayne State teams. The varsity team of Joel Kasten and Ronnie Press, both Wichita freshmen, reached the first elimination round. Two other teams received a bye to the second elimination round before they were defeated, including the team of Lindsey Lathrop, Overland Park junior, and Brett Bricker, Wichita sophomore, and the team of Nate Johnson, Manhattan sophomore, and Jon Wright, Topeka junior.

To win the junior varsity division, Chris Thomas and Erum Shah, both Overland Park freshmen, defeated teams from Wichita State University, the University of Central Illinois and Emporia State University.

Five KU debaters were recognized individually as exceptional speakers. Those students and their awards are Matt Cormack, second; Andrew Jennings, seventh; Nate Johnson, ninth; and Lindsey Lathrop, 19th. Chris Thomas earned second place in the junior varsity division.

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

JOHNSON COUNTY
From Overland Park
Lindsey Lathrop, junior in political science, daughter of Robert and Kelly Lathrop; Blue Valley Northwest High School.
Erum Shah, freshman in political science, daughter of Pir and Saieda Shah; Blue Valley Northwest High School.
Chris Thomas, freshman in political science, son of Denise Stock; Blue Valley Northwest High School.

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

SEDGWICK COUNTY
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.

SHAWNEE COUNTY
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.

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