UW No. 18 in National Debate Tournament Rankings

December 19, 2008

The University of Wyoming Speech and Debate Union finished the fall semester among the top 20 teams in the National Debate Tournament (NDT) rankings.

Fronted by Samuel Allen (Meridian, Idaho), Jamie Cheek (Newcastle) and Mike Bausch (Boise, Idaho), UW is rated No. 18 among the 114 colleges and universities that sponsor a team in NDT policy debate. Also, UW is the top-ranked team from District 9, which encompasses Wyoming, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico and Utah.

"In both the national and regional rankings, Idaho State University (ISU) is nipping at our heels," says Matt Stannard, director of forensics at UW and the team's coach. "It's going to be a tight race for that regional title throughout the next semester. If we win, it will be because we have more depth. If the Bengals win, it will be because they are capable of making a run at every tournament. Next semester should be interesting."

ISU sits one spot behind UW in the national rankings, at No. 19.

The UW team comprises majors from psychology, communication, political science, women's studies and education, Stannard says. While Allen, Cheek and Bausch have led UW's charge, Stannard struggles to single them out because "they're all so good this year."

The coach adds, "They put a lot of time and heart into debating and being nationally ranked is as important to them as it would be for players on the football or basketball teams."

The University of Kansas tops the NDT rankings, followed by the University of California-Berkeley, Northwestern University, the University of Oklahoma and Emory University.

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