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UW Debate Team Concludes Outstanding Season with New Director Cram

April 14, 2011

The University of Wyoming debate team concluded its first season under director Travis Cram with exceptionally strong showings at several national championship tournaments. 

Highlights include a final four appearance in parliamentary debate and reaching the elimination rounds of the National Debate Tournament, the nation's most difficult debate tournament.

"All hats are off to these students and their tremendous accomplishments," says Cram. "They have made my first year as director incredibly memorable."

In parliamentary debate, the senior-senior team of Nicholas Larmer of Gillette and Isaac McBride, of Boise, Idaho, capped their successful debating careers with impressive finishes at two different championships.

At the elite, invitation-only National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence (NPTE), the duo pulled off wins against some of the nation's top debate teams to finish 13th among 64 teams. A week later at the National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) championship, Larmer and McBride finished in the sweet 16 among 150 teams. Larmer earned the eighth-best speaker overall among 300 individuals.

Another UW senior finished her parliamentary debate career with strong finishes at both the NPTE and NPDA.  Kathryn Starkey of Jackson Hole teamed up with Dara Miller from the University of Colorado to finish in 18th place at the NPTE with a string of victories. At the NPDA championship, Starkey and Miller reached the final four.

In policy debate, UW competed in two championship tournaments. At the National Junior Division Debate Tournament in Overland Park, Kan., 43 teams competed to determine the nation's best freshman and sophomore debaters. 

Freshmen Tiffany Adamski of Green River and Peter Steiner of Fort Collins, Colo., defeated Illinois State University and University of Oklahoma. 

Freshman Ben Berry of Cheyenne and sophomore Kathleen Bouzis of Omaha, Neb., also performed well before being eliminated by another UW team.

The sophomore duo of Amy Pauli Green River, and Jared Fanning, Cheyenne, culminated their season with a run to the tournament's elite eight. Judges named Pauli the 15th speaker overall.

Senior Michael Bausch of Boise, Idaho, and sophomore Kacey Ballard of Green River were among 78 teams competing at the annual National Debate Tournament (NDT) in Dallas, Texas. Bausch and Ballard became only the second team from UW to reach the elimination rounds in the past 30 years. They had five wins in the preliminary debates and finished 14th overall. 

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