Debaters Take Third at William Jewell College

Lebanon, Ill. — The McKendree University debate team began its season by taking third place and reaching the semifinal round at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., last weekend. Nineteen colleges and universities competed, including the University of Oregon, Texas Tech, Pepperdine and the U. S. Air Force Academy. Representing McKendree were seniors Zak Kilhoffer, Mat Myles, Ben Reid and Ian Reynolds; and juniors Lucas Barker, Alex Cunningham, Sarah DeBruyckere, Brent Nicholson, Brad Thomas and Amanda Walker.

At the first tournament, the team of Myles and Thomas went 4-1. They defeated Washburn University in the double-octofinal round before losing to Lewis and Clark College, finishing ninth. The team of Reid and Reynolds posted a 3-2 record. They defeated Concordia University before losing to Southern Illinois University, also tying for ninth place. Myles was recognized as the 18th place speaker in a field of 96 debaters.

At the second tournament, Myles and Thomas went 5-0 and earned a bye in the first elimination round. They proceeded to beat Pepperdine University in octofinals and the University of Oregon in quarterfinals, before losing to William Jewell College in semifinals and finishing third. The teams of Reid and Reynolds, Cunningham and Nicholson, and Barker and DeBruyckere all went 3-2 and advanced to elimination rounds. Each team lost in double-octofinals, tying for 17th place. Thomas was 7th place speaker, while Myles finished 16th and Nicholson was 19th.

“I’m very pleased that we took third place and had four teams advance to elimination rounds,” said Joe Blasdel, debate coach. “I think this is only the start of what will be an incredible season.”

McKendree will next compete at Loyola University on Sept. 21-23, as well as Southwest Baptist University on Sept. 22.