KU News Release

Nov. 19, 2009
Contact: Scott Harris, debate coach, (785) 864-9878

KU debaters keep high national ranking

More Information

LAWRENCE — Although national champion debaters Brett Bricker and Nate Johnson have graduated, the University of Kansas debate team has continued to perform well in the 2009-10 season.

In the latest Debate Coaches Poll, KU is ranked third. The University of California-Berkeley is first; Emory University, second; Harvard University, fourth; and Wake Forest University, fifth.

“The debate coaches poll is a new concept created this season,” said Scott Harris, who is in his 19th year as KU’s debate coach. “The coaches debate poll is a ranking of individual debate teams based on their performance at tournaments that operates exactly like polls in football or basketball. A panel of national coaches submit their rankings, and the poll is updated every three weeks. This is the first time we have had a regular poll to track the progress of our teams in the national rankings over the course of the season.”

Two KU debate teams are ranked among the top 20 individual teams nationally: Dylan Quigley and Sean Kennedy, 11th; and Christopher Stone and Patrick Kennedy, 13th. KU is the only school to have two teams ranked in the top 13.

Debaters will travel this weekend to Wake Forest University for the last tournament of the fall semester.

The team of Melanie Campbell and Andrew Jack placed second at the University of Central Oklahoma Joe Jackson Tournament held Nov. 4-6 in Edmond, Okla.. The team of Mathew Petersen and Mark Wilkins finished fifth.

At the Robert Kennedy Memorial Debate Tournament held Oct. 31-Nov. 2 at Harvard, the Stone-Kennedy team placed fifth and the Quigley-Kennedy team finished ninth in a field that included 84 of the best debate teams in the country, Harris said. The Petersen-Wilkins team was 24th.

During matches at the Kansas City Kansas Community College debates, held Oct. 9-11, KU debaters Madeline Farron and Cody Wood placed third. In the George R.R. Pflaum Debate Tournament held Oct. 17-19 at Emporia State University, the Campbell-Jack team took ninth.

At the Henry Clay Debate Tournament held Oct. 3-5, Quigley-Kennedy took fifth place and Stone-Kennedy finished 17th. Out of 125 teams at the Georgia State University tournament held Sept. 19-21, Quigley-Kennedy and Stone-Kennedy tied for ninth and Peterson-Wilkins were 17th.

In a tournament Sept. 26-28 at Missouri State University, the KU teams of Melanie Campbell-Andrew Jack and Andrew Jamison-Mark Schmitz tied for fifth. In junior varsity competition, Devon Cantwell and Joe Getto placed ninth.

National champion Bricker, a master’s degree student in communication studies, is among eight graduate students on the KU debate team coaching staff. Others are doctoral students Brian DeLong, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Michael Souders, Manhattan; Sarah Topp, Lawrence; Ben Warner, Price, Utah; and Kelly Winfrey, Raymore, Mo.; and master’s degree students Travis Cram, Cheyenne, Wyo.; Athena Murray, Dorr, Mich.; and Lindsey Shook, Tulsa, Okla.

Debate team members are listed below by hometown, year in school, major, parents’ names and high school, when available.

From Lawrence 66049 and Manhattan
Andrew Dylan Jack, junior in chemical engineering, son of Steven Jack of Lawrence and Pamela Jack of Manhattan; Manhattan High School.

From Leawood 66206
Patrick Michael Kennedy, sophomore in economics and Spanish, son of Chris and Joan Kennedy; Shawnee Mission East High School, Prairie Village.

Sean Christopher Kennedy, junior in linguistics, son of Chris and Joan Kennedy; Shawnee Mission East High School, Prairie Village.

From Leawood 66209
Cody Nicklaus Wood, freshman preparing to study law, son of Brian and Lorrie Wood; Blue Valley North High School, Overland Park.

From Lenexa 66215
Melanie Tara Campbell, freshman in political science, daughter of Kevin and Petra Campbell; Shawnee Mission West High School, Overland Park.

From Lenexa 66220
Joseph A. Getto, freshman in film and media studies, son of Charles and Carol Getto; St. James Academy.

From Overland Park 66210
Joseph Richard Pyne, freshman in chemical engineering, son of Lisa Vincent; Piper High School, Kansas City, Kan.

From Overland Park 66221
Sirus Saeedipour, freshman preparing to study medicine, son of Rassul Saeedipour; Blue Valley West High School.

From Prairie Village 66207
Margaret Anne Schmidt, freshman in biology, daughter of Thomas and Kathryn Schmidt; Shawnee Mission East High School.

From Manhattan 66503 and Lawrence
Andrew Dylan Jack. See DOUGLAS COUNTY

From Derby 67037
Christopher Douglas Stone, senior in political science, son of Douglas and Gloria Stone; Derby High School.

From Goddard 67052
Andrew William Jamison, freshman in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, son of Fred and Gail Jamison; Goddard Senior High School.

From Wichita 67208 and 67218
Dylan Niernberger Quigley, junior in philosophy, son of Trix Niernberger (67208) and Tim Quigley (67218); Wichita High School East.

From Wichita 67218
Mathew Alexander Petersen, junior in economics, son of Laura Petersen-Miller and Virgil Miller; Wichita High School East.

From Topeka 66601
Devon K. Cantwell, sophomore in biology and political science, daughter of Joyce Cantwell; Washburn Rural High School.

From Topeka 66604 and 66610
Mark Philip Wilkins, sophomore in political science, son of Janis Hinkle (66604) and Brent Wilkins (66610); Washburn Rural High School.

From Topeka 66610
Madeline Rose Farron, freshman in linguistics, daughter of Neal and Karen Farron; Washburn Rural High School.

From Kansas City 66109
Christopher Elliott Teters, sophomore in computer science, son of Elliott and Susan Teters; Piper High School.

From Springfield 65804
Abigail Cathryn Slyman, freshman preparing to study law, daughter of Amy Stuckey and James Slyman; Kickapoo High School.

From Colleyville 76034
Mark Schmitz, freshman preparing to study law, son of Kurt and Peggy Schmitz; Grapevine (Texas) Senior High School.

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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