HAYS, KS -- Getting back to Hays from Washington, DC, and the Catholic University Debate Tournament didn't exactly go as planned for Fort Hays State University's debate team of Jason Regnier, Salina junior, 1024 Gypsom Ave., and Joseph Ramsey, Sterling junior.
They missed their plane out of Washington, DC, and didn't get home until late in the evening a day later than expected.
It all happened for good reason though. The team made the final round of the tournament which took place Oct. 13-16, losing a close final debate to the University of Michigan on a 2-1 decision to finish second in the tournament. In the preliminary rounds the team complied a 5-1 record and were ranked second heading into the final rounds.
As individual debaters, Ramsey tied for 10th and Regnier finished 14th out of more than 100 debaters.
From Oct. 27-30, the team was at Harvard University, the most difficult tournament of the year, according to Debate Coach Dr. Bill Shanahan, assistant professor of communication.
"All of the toughest teams in the country were there."
Although the team of Ramsey and Regnier did not clear the elimination rounds, they still finished 17th out of the top 66 teams in the country. The team recorded a win/loss record of 5-3 in the preliminary rounds.
Ramsey added to his list of individual awards by finishing 18th of 132 debaters at the Harvard tournament.
"This represents an impressive personal performance (for Ramsey), especially given the talent that was present," said Shanahan.
Shanahan said he has been more than pleased at the success of his debaters throughout the year.
"This level of success is due to an enormous work effort by the entire squad and amazing debating by Joe and Jason. They have come a long way since debating the local high school circuit in Kansas just over two short years ago."
The debate squad is composed of Ramsey, Regnier and Brent Saindon, Wichita junior, 13214 Castlewood Road. Only two debaters make up the competitive team at any one time.
"Personally, I am proud to be associated with FHSU debate and to be a part of the university community here," Shanahan said.
Next for the debate team is a well-deserved break from competition followed by the Wake Forest University tournament in Winston-Salem, NC, Nov. 18-20.
"This is traditionally the largest tournament of the year. Our showing there will help to determine the course of the season," Shanahan said.