DEBATE-Kansas City Students Shine at Urban Debate National Championship in L.A.
See the coverage of this story in The Kansas City Star: Debate-Kansas City teams ‘made history’ at national championship.
KANSAS CITY, Mo (April 13th, 2015) –DEBATE-Kansas City (DKC) students earned top honors at the Urban Debate National Championship in Los Angeles, California, including a second place finish by Sumner Academy in the national tournament, and the top overall speaker award, which was received by Lincoln Prep’s Monica Medeiros. The policy debate tournament was held April 10th – 12th on the campus of the University of Southern California.
Mylan Gray and Alex Trobough of Sumner Academy were undefeated in six rounds of preliminary competition and won three elimination debates, until they lost in the final round on a 4-3 judging decision. The duo also earned fifth and six place speaker awards out of 76 competitors from 19 Urban Debate Leagues.
Lincoln Prep’s policy team of Monica Medeiros and Ellen Baker advanced all the way to semi-finals, where they were defeated by the eventual champion from Baltimore. Ms. Medeiros was named the tournament’s top speaker and her partner Ellen Baker was not far behind, earning the third place award.
In all, DKC had four of the top six speakers, and two of the top four policy teams in the highly competitive Urban Debate National Championship.
“Alex and Mylan, Monica and Ellen, they made history. Their collective performance was the best in DKC’s history, and one the best finishes by any league in the history of the championship,” said Gabe Cook, DKC’s Executive Director.
Each Urban Debate League is allowed to enter their two best policy debate teams into the championship tournament, which began in 2008. This year 38 policy teams from 19 leagues debated six preliminary rounds. The top sixteen preliminary finishers advanced to elimination debates. Each elimination round shrinks the field in half until the final round decides a champion. Until this year, no DKC team had advanced past the quarter-final.
During preliminary debates judges not only decide the winner and loser of each round, they also assign speaker points. Those points are added together for all the competitors, and the top 10 point earners are given awards. Sean Easterwood of Central was the last DKC student to be named the top overall speaker at the inaugural Urban Debate Championship in 2008. It was also the last time both teams from DKC earned a trip to the elimination debates.