Concordia University Irvine Debate Team Captures National Championship

Mar 26, 2013 1:28 PM
Ann Ashmon

Irvine, Calif. (March, 2013) –The points are tallied and there’s no argument: the Concordia University Irvine Debate Team captured the National Championship in parliamentary debate. They won the overall team sweepstakes at the National Parliamentary Debate Association's (NPDA) Championship Tournament, held March 23-25 in Stockton, CA at the University of the Pacific.

"It has been an honor to work with these incredibly gifted and hard-working students, as well as two fantastic coaches, Kevin Calderwood and Justin Harris, who made incredible sacrifices to earn this achievement,” said professor Konrad Hack, Concordia’s director of forensics.  

Concordia's debaters competed in the three-day event against 50 different colleges and universities from across the United States, including teams from UCLA, UC Berkeley, Southern Illinois, Pepperdine, University of Oregon, Texas Tech, Biola, Wheaton, and Azusa Pacific. By earning 60 points and advancing six of its eight teams to the single elimination rounds, CUI narrowly edged McKendree University to win the National Tournament.

The NPDA recognizes excellence in three ways. First, it awards the national title to the two-person debate team that wins the tournament (Southern Illinois University). Second, the NPDA tracks all regular season tournaments and acknowledges the team that had the best regular season (Whitman College). Finally, it measures performance by each school at the National Tournament (Concordia University Irvine).

"When a group of students buys into a system of hard work, discipline and teamwork, it pays off in competition. They believe that national titles are won in August, not by cramming in March, and their hard work was rewarded at the National Tournament," said Hack.

Six of Concordia’s debate teams did exceptionally well at the National Tournament:

Joe Laughon (Sr) & Will Prier (Sr) - 7-1 record in prelim rounds,Octofinalist finish (tied for 9th)

Zach Moss (Sr) & Bear Saulet (Sr) - 7-1 record in prelim rounds,Octofinalist finish (tied for 9th)

Chase Harrington (Jr) & Shannon Meredith (Jr) - 6-2 record in prelim rounds,Double Octofinalists (tied for 17th)

Stirling McKenzie (Sr) & George Talavera (Sr) - 5-3 record in prelim rounds,Triple Octofinalists (tied for 33rd)

Maria Harris (Sr) & Amanda Ozaki (So) - 5-3 record in prelim rounds, TripleOctofinalists (tied for 33rd)

Josh Vannoy (Fr) & Jonathan Veal (So) - 5-3 record in prelim rounds, TripleOctofinalists (tied for 33rd)

Also competing in the championship tournament were Concordia debaters Keane Anrig, Angelica Grigsby, Patrick Ortiz, Carolina Palmer, and Anabel Solano. Concordia’s Debate Squad is led by Konrad Hack, assistant professor of communications and director of forensics;Kevin Calderwood, director of debate; and Justin Harris, assistant director of forensics.