KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- The Kansas City Kansas Community College Debate Team competed at two tournaments before the start of the Spring 2014 semester.
At the Texas Two-Step, Jan. 4-12, the team attended two tournaments at the University of Texas-Dallas and at the University of North Texas.
At UT-Dallas the team of Matt Casas and Brian Gonzaba compiled a 4-3 preliminary win-loss record with wins over the University of Wyoming, Houston, Missouri State and Georgia State. They made it to the elimination rounds for the top 32 teams where they defeated the University of Northern Iowa on a 3-0 decision in the first round.
This win pushed them into the Sweet 16 where they lost to the University of Houston, who would go on to win the tournament.
Out of 140 debaters, Casas was 15th best speaker overall and Gonzaba was 26th. Katie Ford was 30th overall as her and her partner Alex Glanzman missed elimination rounds, but had preliminary wins over Northern Iowa, Missouri State, Rochester and the University of Oklahoma.
At the University of North Texas tournament, the Blue Devils won two Divisions of the tournament with teams in both divisions going undefeated through finals.
In the Novice Division, the Blue Devil team of Gretchen Torres and Michael Smith compiled a perfect 8-0 record finishing preliminaries 6-0. The team then went onto win in the Final Four vs. the University of Texas-San Antonio on a 3-0 decision before knocking off Augustana College on a 3-0 decision in finals. Torres was 10th speaker overall, and Smith brought home honors of Top Speaker in the tournament in the Novice Division.
In the JV Division, the KCKCC duo of Anthony Joseph and Chris Miles also compiled a perfect record finishing 6-0 in preliminaries. They won in the Final Four on a 3-0 decision over Lindenwood University before knocking off the University of Houston on a 3-0 decision in finals. Anthony Joseph was Top speaker overall in the JV Division and his partner Chris Miles took second.
“I am very proud of the teams for the work they put in over the Christmas break that put them in a position to do so well in Texas,” said Darren Elliott, director and Head Coach of the KCKCC debate program. “It is especially rewarding to see the JV and Novice teams do so well and go through the tournament with both teams not dropping a single debate decision.”
With these teams combining to win two Divisions of the tournament, and without dropping a ballot, KCKCC was propelled to first in the nation in the CEDA rankings among all colleges and universities, with them still holding a strong lead in the National Community College rankings as well above Johnson County CC, LA City College and Los Rios College.
In the Open Division of the UNT tournament, the two varsity KCKCC teams also had a great tournament. Katie Ford and Alex Glanzman finished preliminaries with a 4-3 record with wins over Wichita State, Texas, Oklahoma, and UT-San Antonio. Making it to the field of 32, they lost a close elimination round decision 2-1 to Baylor.
The team of Matt Casas and Brian Gonzaba also finished preliminaries with a 4-3 record defeating the University of Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma and two Trinity teams. Making it to the field of 32, they defeated the University of Oklahoma on a 3-0 decision to advance to the Sweet 16. They then lost a close 2-1 decision to Baylor. Individual honors included Glanzman, finishing as 30th best speaker out of more than 140; Casas finishing 24th and Gonzaba placing 17th overall.
The Blue Devils will be competing in two tournaments this weekend. Casas and Gonzaba along with Elliott will be traveling to Ogden, Utah for the Weber Round Robin where 16 of the top teams in the nation will battle it out.
The rest of the teams will be with Assistant Coach Scott Elliott competing at the Wichita State Tournament.
“I am very excited to be taking Casas and Gonzaba to the Round Robin this weekend and see how they stack up against some of the best in the country,” Elliott said. “It is a great opportunity for them and the program to be attending the Weber Round Robin.”