Most readers won’t care about this, but Mary Washington KS – our top policy debate team – just received a first round bid to the National Debate Tournament. In practical terms, this means they won’t have to compete at the district qualifying tournament to get to the NDT. In a broader sense, it’s pretty exciting to have two guys you debated with get recognized as one of the top 16 teams in the country. This is a school first, and it’s incredibly gratifying to read their names sandwiched in between debaters from perennial contenders like Harvard, Dartmouth, and Emory.
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They’re through! Mary Washington KS defeated Whitman and are now debating Harvard in quarters. I’m pretty sure this is the first time any Mary Washington team has reached the quarterfinals of a major national circuit tournament, but I can’t say I’m surprised that KS made the breakthrough. It’s incredibly thrilling to get in on the ground floor of an institution that is really coming into its own, and I’ve never been prouder of my alma mater. My only regret is that I’m not at Wake Forest to watch the debates. Go Eagles!
UPDATE: Arghhhhh – lost on a 2-1 decision.
Mary Washington KS and Mary Washington SS (one of our younger varsity teams) are debating at Wake Forest’s Shirley Classic this weekend. It’s the last big tournament of the semester – here’s hoping they do some damage in elims. Go Eagles!
UPDATE: KS is 4-0 on the day; no word yet on SS. Also, we beat U. Texas, which bodes well for the Skins-Dallas game tomorrow.
UPDATE II: KS cleared with a 5-1 record; they’re hitting an Oklahoma team in double octafinals.
UPDATE III: So far, so good. They’re hitting a Whitman team in octafinals.
Mary Washington KS is debating at Harvard this weekend – widely considered the most competitive tournament on the national circuit (shit’s expensive; most schools can only afford to send their best teams). No word yet on their record, but qualifying for elims is going to be pretty tough. Go Eagles!
UPDATE: 5-2 going into round eight against Gonzaga. If we end up 6-2, we’re guaranteed to clear. If we get stuck at 5-3, qualifying for elimination rounds will depend on speaker points. Good luck Mary Washington!
Mary Washington KS ended up 6-2 on the day, losing their final round to Michigan State. This morning they’re debating an Oklahoma team in double-octo finals (the round of 32). Assuming they beat Oklahoma, they’ll advance to the proverbial ‘Sweet 16’. Tournaments like Georgia State are pretty massive affairs (100+ teams compete in the varsity division alone), so qualifying for elims is an impressive accomplishmen in of itself. Going deep in elimination rounds is almost unprecedented for a team from Mary Washington, but KS has the potential to make some noise.
UPDATE: Beat Oklahoma on a 3-0 (all three judges voted for Mary Washington). Based on seeding and bracket positions, we think KS will hit a Wake Forest team in their octo-final round.
UPDATE II: Gulp. They’re hitting Wake’s top team in octo-finals. This is the same team that won the National Debate Tournament last year, so KS will definitely be an underdog.
UPDATE III: They lost on a 3-0. But what a run! A promising start to what’s sure to be an outstanding year. I’m pretty sure KS is the first Mary Washington team in school history to advance to octo-finals at Georgia State.
Four rounds into the tournament and Mary Washington KS is up 3-1. This morning they beat teams from Dartmouth and Trinity, but after a grueling twelve hour day, further updates have been pretty sparse. In an eight round tournament, most teams have to go 6-2 to qualify for elims. A lucky few will sneak in with five wins by virtue of high speaker points (points awarded based on the judges’ assessment of individual speaking skills), but this is a chancy option. After another four rounds tomorrow, we’ll see where KS ends up.
On a related note, if anyone boasts intimate knowledge of US-Brazilian diplomatic relations, feel free to drop me a line. Looks like I’ll be cutting some updates on the subject tonight.
UPDATE: KS hit teams from Emory and the University of Central Oklahoma Sunday morning. No word yet on how they did.
UPDATE II: KS is 5-1 going into round seven. They’re hitting one of Emory’s better teams, but if they win this one, they’re guaranteed to qualify for elims tomorrow. Consider my fingers crossed.
UPDATE III: Yahtzee! KS just beat Emory. One more round and we’re done for the day, but no matter what happens, they’ve qualified for elims.
UPDATE IV: Next up is a very good Michigan State team.