Wednesday, March 27, 2013

All-Americans lead KCKCC to national, regional debate titles


While winning an eighth Cross Examination Debate championship may not be big news, having two All-Americans and winning the regional championship for the first time certainly is.

Led by All-Americans Kristyn Russell of Lansing and Ryan McFarland of Hutchinson, Kansas City Kansas Community College won the 2013 CEDA (Cross Examination Debate Association) national championship for community colleges at Idaho State University this past weekend.

“We also won our first ever Regional championship, beating out the University of Kansas, Kansas State, UMKC and Johnson County Community College,” said Coach Darren Elliott.

The Blue Devils finished ahead of Johnson County, Los Rios and Los Angeles City College of California and the University of District of Columbia for the CEDA community college championship.

The CEDA championship is determined by points accumulated throughout the season competing against mainly four-year colleges and universities.

“This is our eighth CEDA title in 10 years,” said Elliott, whose team will be seeking an unprecedented 10th straight Phi Rho Pi national title in April. Unlike CEDA, only two-year colleges compete in Phi Rho Pi.

Elliott said having two All-Americans was frosting on the national championship cake.

“Only 30 debaters from all the two and four-year colleges and universities nationwide are selected to the All-American team and for KCKCC to have two is amazing as it honors their competitive success, academic commitment and commitment to their college and community.”

McFarland and Russell compiled a 5-3 preliminary record in the CEDA nationals to earn a berth in the elimination rounds where they were nipped in a 2-1 decision by Kansas State and finished in the Top 40 out of 160 college and university teams.

The KCKCC duo is right back in action this weekend, competing in the National Debate Tournament (NDT) at Weber State in Ogden, Utah. It is only the second time KCKCC has qualified a team for the NDT.

It is also the second time in the NDT for McFarland, who will become the only debater to ever qualify for both the CEDA and NDT national competitions two years in a row.