LAWRENCE—University of Kansas debaters Lawrence sophomore Ethan Harris and Bucyrus junior Will Soper won the Mid America Championship debate tournament hosted by the University of Central Oklahoma. The pair went undefeated over 10 rounds of debating from February 17 to 19 to win the championship.
A second duo of KU freshmen — Zach Willingham, Topeka and Sabrina Yang, Overland Park — took fifth place at the tournament. Harris, Soper and Yang also received individual honors as third, fourth and fifth place speakers at the tournament.
The KU team of freshmen Isaac Martinez of Spearman, Texas and Sean McConnell of Topeka finished with a 3-3 record at the tournament and narrowly missed qualifying for the single-elimination debates.
“We are very proud of the hard work of the entire team that helped win the championship,” said David B. Pittaway Debate Director Scott Harris.
Other schools participating in the tournament included Baylor University, University of Central Oklahoma, Emporia State University, Gonzaga University, University of Houston, Kansas State University, University of Minnesota, University of Oklahoma, University of Texas, Vanderbilt University, Wake Forest University, Wichita State University and the University of Wyoming.
The Mid America Championship was the first of four postseason tournaments that KU teams will compete in this season. KU will also have teams competing at the American Debate Association Championship Tournament at Georgetown University March 3-5, the National Debate Tournament Championship in Chantilly, Virginia, March 30-April 3, and the Cross Examination Debate Association National Championship Tournament in Houston April 7-11.
Photos: right, Ethan Harris and Will Soper. At left, Sabrina Yang and Zach Willingham