The William Jewell debate squad did not let the winter break slow down their momentum from the fall season. As a result of the squad-wide success, four teams qualified to attend the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence (NPTE) tournament in March. Only the top 64 teams in the nation are selected out of nearly 600.
David Dingess (senior, Aurora, Colo.) and Andrew Potter (senior, Buhler, Kan.) are ranked as the sixth-best team in the country and received a first-round bid to the NPTE along with Kyle Mellon (junior, Norman, Okla.) and Matt Reisener (junior, Indianola, Iowa). In addition, receiving second-round bids were the team of Spencer Shanks (sophomore, Kearney, Mo.) and Tyler White (junior, Independence, Mo.) along with Rosemary Loehr (junior, Kansas City, Mo.) and Stephen Ahal (first year, Chesterfield, Mo.). The national tournament is at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash.
“All eight competitors going to the national tournament work tremendously hard to achieve the level of success that they have,” said Kevin Garner, assistant debate coach. “Our team members are smart and self-motivated, and I feel fortunate to be a part of this program.”
The spring semester started with the squad travelling to Western Washington University. At the tournament, known for being one of the most difficult of the season, William Jewell placed third.
Debating closer to home, the squad travelled to St. Louis to compete at the Webster University tournament. For the second year in a row, a Jewell team won the tournament championship. White and Shanks defeated a team from McKendree University to take home the top prize. Also performing well were the teams of Ahal and Loehr (third place); Mellon and Reisener (ninth place); and Rodney Chowning (sophomore, Belton, Mo.) and Michael Lacombe (senior, Sioux City, Neb.) in tenth place. Mellon also won the top individual speaker award; the squad as a whole placed third.
Jewell debaters are not the only ones being recognized for their achievements. At the Point Loma Nazarene University tournament in San Diego, Calif., Dr. Gina Lane, William Jewell’s Director of Debate, received the Quintilian Award for her years of service to the activity. After 26 years of coaching debate at William Jewell, Dr. Lane is stepping down next fall to continue her work as Chair of the Department of Communication.
The squad travels to the Missouri State Championship tournament this weekend at Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo.
William Jewell College is committed to bringing together talented students and gifted faculty mentors within a vibrant community sparked by a rigorous and intentional liberal arts curriculum. A full range of personal and professional development experiences are presented by the selective national liberal arts college’s location within the Kansas City metroplex of more than two million.