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The University of Wyoming debate team recently attended five tournaments around the country, with the entire squad participating in more than 100 debates.
UW competed in back-to-back tournaments -- attended by 80 teams -- in Dallas, Texas. Juniors Amy Pauli and Jared Fanning (Green River) both achieved a winning record and narrowly missed advancing, based on a tie-breaker, to the elimination rounds. They racked up victories against the University of Kansas, Texas, Central Florida, Southern Methodist, Binghamton and Kansas State. Junior Kacey Ballard (Green River) and freshman Mary Marcum (Omaha) collected wins against Kansas, Texas, San Antonio, Dallas, Minnesota and Binghamton.
Freshman Bethany Jones (Green River) had a dominating performance at the Dallas tournaments in the junior division. She finished in the final four at the first tournament and was the runner-up after losing a close split-decision in the final round at the second tournament. She defeated teams from San Antonio, Kansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette, West Virginia, Kansas City, Kansas Community College and Johnson County Community College.
Freshman Akash Gondalia and sophomore Ben Berry (Cheyenne) contributed victories against West Virginia, Binghamton, Oklahoma University and Wichita State University. Junior Kathleen Bouzis (Omaha) and sophomore Peter Steiner (Fort Collins, Colo.) had victories over University of Missouri-Kansas City and West Virginia.
At a tournament hosted by the University of California-Berkeley, Ballard and Marcum had wins over elite competition, including Harvard University, Gonzaga, Cal State Fullerton and Chico State. The two finished in the elite eight, losing on a split decision to the tournament's runner-up, Texas. The pair also was recognized for their speaking prowess by collecting the 10th and 11th best speaker awards.
Berry and Gondalia advanced to the elimination rounds with wins against USC, Sacramento State and Chico State. During the elimination rounds, they had to compete against teammates Ballard and Marcum in the bracket, with the latter pair advancing as the higher seed. Fanning and Pauli narrowly lost their debate.
At a debate at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, Gondalia and Ballard teamed up for a weekend of parliamentary debate and were joined by sophomore Gordon Dobbs and Zachary Flynn (Cheyenne). Both teams broke even.
UW joined 60 teams at a tournament in Kansas City, where Bouzis, Steiner, Jones and Marcum all competed and defeated their opposition from Fresno State and the University of Oklahoma.