The Fort Hays State University debate team recently traveled to the largest regular-season collegiate debate tournament in three decades, held at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.
Approximately 175 teams were in attendance, including all of the nation's top teams.
"This was a genuine test to see if our more recent success at smaller tournaments was an aberration or a trend," said Dr. William Shanahan, debate coach and assistant professor of communication.
The team of Jason Regnier, Salina senior, and Brent Saindon, Wichita senior, finished second after an 18-hour competition day.
"They accomplished more than we could have anticipated or even realistically hoped for," said Shanahan.
The team was seeded 10th going into the competition after a 6-2 record during the preliminary rounds.
They established their dominance throughout the competition, losing only to Northwestern in the final round.
"This Northwestern team is one that has plagued the Fort for a couple of years now," said Shanahan.
The team of Paul Mabrey, Manhattan junior, and Michael Richardson, Hutchinson freshman, also competed, achieving a 4-4 preliminary record.
In individual speaker performances, Regnier placed second, Saindon finished in a tie for 18th and Mabrey ended in a tie for 35th -- out of approximately 350 speakers.
"To say that we are overwhelmed by this success does not begin to describe our feelings," said Shanahan. "This accomplishment ranks right up there with last year's national championship."