A Kansas Wesleyan University team is competing on a national level against much larger schools, and beating them.
According to the school, KWU debaters headed east last weekend for a national competition at the University of Central Missouri to face a tournament field of 32 teams from 20 states. KWU placed second in the Team Sweepstakes competition, finishing ahead of Western Kentucky and Truman State University, and just behind Arkansas State University.
Kansas Wesleyan students were honored in several individual events in both debate formats. In Parliamentary Debate, the duo of Jake Provo and Jeremy Nave placed fourth. Amber Benning, Nick Fowler, and Kourtney Maison brought home fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively in the Dale Carnegie Speaker Awards. Just as successful in the Lincoln Douglas Debates were Jeremy Nave in fourth and Kris Lewis in eighth. Tonya Powers placed fourth in the Dale Carnegie Speaker awards and Jake Provo placed in top 10 in Extemporaneous Speaking with sixth place.
KWU Debate Coach Gary Harmon has been pleased with the performance of the team thus far and looks forward to watching them compete.
“Our debaters always go into these tournaments with a lot of confidence. Oftentimes, we are the smallest school there, competing against Division I schools,” said Harmon. “These kids never let that get to them and are always prepared to win or place near the top.”
Under the direction of Harmon, KWU debate and forensics has won 37 national championships and is poised for another successful season.
“The debaters have been working hard and improving weekly,” said Harmon. I’m extremely proud that they are competing successfully in four different formats; each has specific requirements that appeal to different audiences. This demands adaptation skills that will pay huge dividends in the ‘real’ world.”
Jake Provo, El Dorado
Kourtney Maison, El Dorado
Nick Fowler, El Dorado
Tonya Powers, Hutchinson
Amber Benning, Caney
Kris Lewis, Salina
Jeremy Nave, Caney