HAYS, KS -- Fort Hays State University has earned a ranking among the top 16 debate teams in the nation for the second year in a row.
Joe Ramsey, Sterling senior and Jason Regnier, Salina senior, 1024 Gypsom Ave., one of FHSU's debate teams, received an invitation to compete at the national debate tournament at Southwest Missouri State University in March. Teams are selected by a coach's panel, which ranks the country's top teams.
The 16 selected teams are invited to attend without qualifying. Other selected teams include: Harvard University, Dartmouth University, Northwestern University, Emory University, University of California-Berkeley, Wake Forest University, University of Southern California, Michigan State University, University of Kentucky, Whitman College and West Georgia University.
"This is one of the premier honors bestowed upon a debate team. The national debate tournament is an extraordinarily competitive tournament and governing organization," said Dr. William Shanahan, debate coach and assistant professor of communication.
The team's most recent debate at Northwestern University left Ramsey and Regnier in second place out of 132 teams. FHSU was also ranked highest in the country for its individual speaker awards. At Northwestern, Regnier was rated 13th individually, Ramsey 33rd and Paul Mabrey, Manhattan junior, 55th out of 264 speakers.
The team of Brent Saindon, Wichita senior, 13214 Castlewood Road, and Mabrey, defeated Bakersfield College, Navy College, The State University of West Georgia and Florida State University.
Ramsey and Regnier lost their first elimination round (rounds which qualify teams for the final rounds) to North Texas University, leaving the team with an 82 percent preliminary win-loss.
Mabrey and Saindon have a chance to qualify for the national debate tournament, among other teams who were not selected by the panel, at the district qualifiers at the University of North Texas in Denton, TX.