Debate teams victorious against country's toughest competition

HAYS, KS -- Debaters from Fort Hays State University were victorious at tournaments held from Sept. 29 - Oct. 1 at the University of Northern Iowa.

Joe Ramsey, Sterling junior, received an individual speaker award, placing fifth. Jason Regnier, 1024 Gypsom Ave., Salina, senior, placed eighth out of 163 debaters. Ramsey and Regnier also placed sixth out of 81 teams, with six wins and two losses.

The team beat Wichita State, Dartmouth, North Texas, Kansas State and Pittsburgh and lost to Berkeley and Northwestern.

Paul Mabrey, Manhattan sophomore, and senior Brent Saindon, 13214 Castlewood Road, Wichita, won two and lost six. Despite their record, Mabrey and Saindon demonstrated a strong start, said Dr. William Shanahan, debate coach and assistant professor of communication, despite Saindon's diminished participation season and Mabrey's two-year layoff.

The debate team also competed at the University of Kentucky, Oct. 6-8, and the Kentucky Round Robin, Oct. 3-5, to which only the top nine teams in the country were invited to compete. Ramsey and Regnier succeeded against Berkeley, Michigan State, USC and Dartmouth, placing fifth overall.

At the Kentucky tournament, Ramsey and Regnier finished with a 7-1 record. Regnier placed fourth and Ramsey 13th out of 250 debaters for individual speaker awards. Mabrey and Saindon were also consistent, defeating two tough teams, Louisville and Iowa and finishing with a 2-6 record.

At the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., FHSU's showing represented a "break-through for the team of Mabrey and Saindon," said Shanahan. They achieved a 4-2 record, defeating Catholic University, Boston College, Northwestern University and the University of Rochester.

In another round, Shanahan said Ramsey and Regnier "tore through the preliminary rounds" with an undefeated record, defeating the University of South Carolina, James Madison University, University of Georgia, Kansas University, Iowa University and Catholic University. Ramsey and Regnier also performed well as speakers, Ramsey placing second and Regnier fourth out of 158 speakers.

At Harvard University, in which 69 teams were invited, Ramsey and Regnier continued to "tear it up in prelims…against the ferocious competition," ending with a 6-2 record, said Shanahan. Ramsey and Regnier continued to impress the judges, Ramsey earning fourth place and Regnier ninth out of 138 debaters.

Mabrey and Saindon struggled with the competition and conservative judges, said Shanahan, beating difficult teams Northwestern University, Northwestern College and the University of Georgia and ending with a 3-5 record.

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