KU News Release

Oct. 8, 2010
Contact: Scott Harris, debate coach, (785) 864-9878

Debate squad ranks fifth in nation; coach receives award

More Information

LAWRENCE — Three weeks into the 2010-11 debate season, the University of Kansas is ranked fifth in the nation in the season’s first debate coaches poll.

In addition, KU’s debate coach, Scott Harris, received an inaugural award honoring his coaching skills during one of the first tournaments of the season.

The top 10 programs in the rankings are Emory University, Northwestern University, Harvard University, University of California-Berkeley, KU, Wake Forest University, the University of Michigan and Gonzaga University.

In individual team rankings, KU’s debate team of Sean Kennedy, a junior from Leawood, and Dylan Quigley, a senior from Wichita, ranked sixth in the country.

Since the season opened in September, KU’s debaters have competed in several tournaments, most recently at Northwestern University’s Owen L. Coon Memorial Debate Tournament held Oct. 2-4. Kennedy and Quigley took fourth place at the tournament after winning nine debates including those against Kansas State University, the University of Texas and Baylor University. The KU team of Patrick Kennedy, a junior from Leawood, and Mathew Petersen, a senior from Wichita, finished 14th.

Sean Kennedy was the seventh-place individual debater at the tournament, and Quigley, the eighth-place individual debater. The Northwestern tournament included 144 teams.

KU’s debate coach received the inaugural Excellence in Coaching award at the Northwestern tournament. Created by the Northwestern Debate Society, the new award will be given annually to a debate coach who exhibits the ideals of excellence in coaching. Northwestern officials presented Harris with a specially made trophy that included a basketball autographed by the 1997-98 KU basketball team.

Before competing at Northwestern, Sean Kennedy and Quigley competed in a special invitational tournament in Chicago for the top nine teams in the country and finished in fifth place.

The KU debate team of Madeline Farron, a sophomore from Topeka, and Mark Schmitz, a sophomore from Colleyville, Texas, took ninth place in a field of 39 teams in a Wichita State University tournament Sept. 25-27. The team of James Clifford, a freshman from Hutchinson, and Megan Mapes, a freshman from Topeka, took fifth place in the junior varsity division at Wichita State.

KU kicked off the season Sept. 17-20 in Atlanta at Georgia State University’s tournament involving 138 teams from across the country. KU’s Kennedy-Quigley team won eight debates and finished fifth at the tournament after losing a 2-1 split decision to the University of California-Berkeley, who went on to win the tournament. The Kennedy-Petersen team finished in 26th place and the team of Melanie Campbell, a sophomore from Lenexa, and Mark Wilkins, a junior from Topeka, took 30th place.

“We are very pleased with the excellent start to the season but we have a lot of hard work ahead of us,” Harris said.

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

From Emporia 66801
Drew Scott Bonnet, freshman in chemistry; son of Sheri and Scott Bonnet; Emporia Senior High School.

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

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

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

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

Matthew Spencer Haynes, freshman in philosophy and psychology; son of Robert and Deborah Haynes; Olathe Northwest High School.

From Overland Park 66085
Killian Patrick Cull, freshman in political science; son of Lori Cull; Blue Valley North High School.

From Overland Park 66207
Aaron Jacob Miller, freshman in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; son of Malinde Miller; Shawnee Mission South High School.

From Overland Park 66212
Jylessa Renee Hampton, freshman in political science; daughter of Reba and Matthew Tate; Shawnee Mission South High School.

From Prairie Village 66207
Scott Ian Rainen, freshman in geography; son of William and Julie Rainen; Shawnee Mission East High School.

From Hutchinson 67502
James Alan Clifford, freshman in history and psychology; son of Sheryl Clifford; Buhler High School.

From Goddard 67052
Andrew William Jamison, sophomore in linguistics; son of Fred and Gail Jamison; Goddard Senior High School.

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

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

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

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

From Topeka 66610
Madeline Rose Farron, sophomore in cognitive psychology and linguistics with a co-major in global and international studies; daughter of Neal and Karen Farron; Washburn Rural High School.

From Topeka 66614
Megan Michelle Mapes, freshman in political science; daughter of Lawrence and Mary Mapes; Topeka West High School.

From Liberty 64088
Kristen Mallory Wright, freshman in business administration; daughter of Kenneth and Wendy Wright; Liberty High School.

From Colleyville 76034
Mark W. Schmitz, sophomore in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; 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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