McKendree Debaters Turn in Season’s Best Performance at Washburn

Lebanon, Ill. — McKendree University debaters reached finals at both halves of Washburn University’s McMillan Swing tournament, winning the second half and claiming the top swing speaker. Sixteen colleges and universities attended the tournament, held from Nov. 11 to 13, including the University of Colorado, Texas Tech University and Pepperdine University.

“This was the best team performance we’ve had this season and the best we’ve ever had at this particular tournament,” said Joe Blasdel, coach. Representing McKendree were senior Zak Kilhoffer; juniors Mat Myles, Ben Reid and Ian Reynolds; and sophomores Lucas Barker, Alex Cunningham, Brent Nicholson and Brad Thomas.

“Brent and Ben had an incredible tournament and are on a roll, having reached finals at three consecutive tournaments,” Blasdel noted.

At the first tournament, Nicholson and Reid went 4-1 in prelims. After defeating William Jewell College in octofinals on a topic dealing with the Nile Basin Initiative, they beat the University of Puget Sound on the issue of China’s food safety rules in quarterfinals. In semifinals, they triumphed over Washburn University in a debate over the Renewable Fuel Standard Flexibility Act. In finals, they lost to the University of Texas on the issue of developing solar power satellites.

Reynolds and Thomas also posted a 4-1 record. After defeating Loyola University in octofinals, they lost in quarterfinals to William Jewell College. The team of Barker and Myles went 3-2, beating the University of Texas in double-octofinals before losing to William Jewell College in octofinals.

At the second tournament, Nicholson and Reid posted a 3-2 record. After defeating Washburn University in octofinals on the topic of developing nuclear propulsion, they beat Whitman College in quarterfinals on the issue of regulating concentrated animal feeding operations. In semifinals, they defeated another Washburn team in a debate over the Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act. In finals, they triumphed over another Whitman team to win the tournament on the question of whether to recognize Somaliland as a nation-state.

The team of Reynolds and Thomas went 4-1 in prelims. After defeating Western Washington University in octofinals, they beat Washburn University in quarterfinals. They lost in semifinals to Whitman College. Ben Reid was also recognized as the best speaker at the tournament.

McKendree will close out its fall competition at Webster University’s Study Break tournament on Dec. 3.