After Texas, ESU Debate waits anxiously for national bidFebruary 16, 2012
After Texas, ESU Debate waits anxiously for Monday
Emporia State University debaters Ryan Wash and LaToya Williams-Green finished regular season competition Feb. 11 and 12 with their strongest performance yet at the University of Texas Invitational Debates in Austin, Texas.
Team Emporia WW finished the tournament in the quarter-finals, losing the debate to the top team in the coach’s poll, Northwestern BK. Both senior communications majors from Kansas City, Kan., Williams-Green was rated the 20th overall speaker out of 294 competitors while Wash was the 11th overall speaker.
“The quarter-finals finish was huge for us,” said Sam Maurer, director of debate, “because we haven’t been that deep at a major national tournament yet and we beat some excellent teams along the way.”
In preliminary debates, Emporia WW defeated Missouri State, two Michigan teams and Georgia — all teams ranked in the top 25 nationally. The cherry on top came in octo-finals when Emporia WW defeated Northwestern LV, which was at that time ranked fifth in the country.
“As a tournament, I think we put a real exclamation point on our bid application,” said Maurer.
ESU Debate must now wait until Feb. 20 when First-Round At-Large Bids to the National Debate Tournament are announced.
There are three ways to earn one of the 76 yearly bids to the National Debate Tournament and by far the most prestigious is the first-round bid. Only the top 16 teams nationally from every school that competes in competitive debate are selected. This season, Emporia WW stands a very good chance of being ranked in those top few.
ESU Debate has only earned one First-Round bid in its nearly 100-year-long history. That bid was earned in 1976.
“We are doing everything in our power — studying, television, chess, studying — to distract ourselves over the next few days but it’s just not working,” said Maurer. “I can’t sleep. I can barely focus. I just want to know already because my heart has been racing for days now.”
Stay tuned on ESU Debate’s Facebook page for updates, follow the team on Twitter at @DebateEmporia, or visit their website to root them on.
Caption: The team of Ryan Wash and LaToya Williams-Green prepare to defeat Northwestern in the octa-final debate at the University of Texas debate tournament last weekend.