After a disappointing performance in Malibu, the Fort Hays State University debate team returned to campus vindicated after competing at The Catholic University of America Oct. 21-25.
During the competition in Washington, DC, the team defeated Harvard University, Dartmouth College and Northwestern College.
Finishing the preliminaries, Michael Richardson, Hutchinson senior, and Phil Bouska, Goddard sophomore, were seeded fifth from the nearly 50 competing teams.
Richardson and Bouska were bumped to ninth place in the octa-finals after the duo tried to defend fossil fuel consumption. Dr. William Shanahan III, debate coach and assistant professor of communication studies, attributed the loss to the team's "wild avant-garde" style.
In the individual speaker competition, Richardson placed 13th out of the nearly 100 competitors. He was initially seeded seventh in a three-way tie. After four tie-breakers using judge variance to break the last tie, Richardson received one-hundredth of a point less than his competitors.
" Michael and Phil's success at a strong second-tier national tournament confirms for us that our strategic choices are heading us in the right direction and that we are beginning to establish this new team on the national circuit," Shanahan said.
Helping to coach the team was Paul Mabrey, Manhattan senior.
The team left for Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, Friday, Oct. 29.
Shanahan said that the Harvard tournament will be "a viciously competitive, first-tier national tournament and the hardest tournament of the year thus far."