McKendree Debaters Take Third at Wheaton College

Five McK Teams Could Be Headed to Nationals This Year

Lebanon, Ill. — The McKendree University debate and individual events team took third place at Wheaton College’s Hollatz Debates on Feb. 17 and 18. Seven colleges and universities participated in the tournament, including Loyola University, Cedarville University and Carthage College. Representing McKendree were seniors Anna Chambers and Zak Kilhoffer, and sophomores Alex Cunningham and Sarah DeBruyckere.

The team of Cunningham and Kilhoffer posted a 6-2 prelim record. After receiving a bye in octofinals, they were defeated by Wheaton College in quarterfinals. Chambers and DeBruyckere were 5-3. They beat Loyola University in octofinals before losing to Cedarville University in quarterfinals. Kilhoffer was recognized as the fourth best speaker, while Cunningham took fifth in a field of 48 debaters.

The teams of Cunningham-Kilhoffer and Chambers-DeBruyckere are attempting to join three other McKendree teams who have already accepted bids to the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence (NPTE): Brent Nicholson and Ben Reid; Ian Reynolds and Brad Thomas; and Lucas Barker and Mat Myles.

“Anna, Alex, Sarah and Zak had an excellent weekend and have given themselves a great shot at qualifying for the NPTE,” said Joe Blasdel, McKendree debate and individuals events coach. “For the first time in team history, we have a very real chance at sending five teams to the NPTE.”

The tournament concluded the team’s regular season competition. It will compete next at nationals in mid-March, with some members attending the NPTE and the National Parliamentary Debate Association championship tournament at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash. Other team members will attend Pi Kappa Delta Nationals in Overland Park, Ks.


Photo of the Debate Team

McKendree University debaters Anna Chambers,

Sarah DeBruyckere, Zak Kilhoffer and Alex Cunningham