Friday, October 26, 2012

No. 1 KCKCC debaters finish unbeaten in two tournaments


With impressive wins at Emporia State University and at home the last two weeks, Kansas City Kansas Community College is back on top as the No. 1 ranked community college in the nation.

The duo of freshman Payton Cummings and sophomore Justin Parker finished unbeaten in winning the Emporia State tournament just a week after sophomores Marin Loken and Joshua Miller were perfect in winning the Blue Devil Debates at KCKCC.

“No. 1 in the country and we were 8-1 against teams from Johnson County (JCCC),” said coach Darren Elliott, whose Blue Devils have won nine straight national Phi Rho Pi championships.

Cummings and Parks took the junior varsity championship at Emporia with a perfect 9-0 record. Preliminary round wins came over the Minnesota, Wichita State, Emporia State, Kansas and two JCCC teams.

In the elimination rounds, the KCKCC duo posted 2-1 decisions over two Emporia State teams in the quarterfinals and semifinals before winning a 3-0 decision over the University of Kansas in the finals. To add to their sweep, Cummings was named top speaker and Parks No. 2 speaker.

Two other KCKCC teams placed fifth at Emporia. Competing in the JV division, Marin Loken and Zachary Beall were 4-2 in the preliminaries with wins over Lindenwood and three JCCC teams before losing a 2-1 decision to Emporia State in the Elite Eight.

In the varsity division, Ryan McFarland and Kristyn Russell were 5-1 in the preliminaries with wins over Concordia, Oklahoma and three KU teams and a loss to UMKC. In the Sweet 16, they opened with a win over one UMKC team but were eliminated by the same UMKC team they had lost to in the preliminaries.

Josh Miller and Marin Loken did not lose a single judge’s ballot in finishing a perfect 9-0 in the JV division of the Blue Devil JV Debates.

Preliminaries included wins over JCCC, Wichita State and Concordia before the Blue Devil duo eliminated Concordia, Emporia State and Wichita State in the elimination rounds, all by 3-0 margins. Miller won the top speaker award with Loken second and Payton Cummings 15th.

It was nearly an all-KCKCC JV final as Cummings and Justin Parks reached the semifinals before losing to Wichita State 2-1. The duo finished 5-1 in the preliminaries with wins over KU, Concordia and two JCCC teams and 2-1 over Concordia in the Elite Eight.

Ryan McFarland and Kristyn Russell also were 6-0 heading into the elimination rounds of the varsity division, defeating Wichita State, Central Oklahoma and four teams from KU to earn the top seed and a first round bye in the elimination round of 16.

A 2-1 winner over Wichita State in the quarterfinals, they lost in the semifinals to Central Oklahoma and finished third with an 8-1 record. Russell was the seventh speaker overall and McFarland 14th.