Debate team invited to national tournament

February 21, 2012

The debate season is not over for Emporia State seniors Ryan Wash and LaToya Williams-Green. The duo, known as Team Emporia WW, finished the regular season Feb. 11 and 12.

LaToya Williams-Green and Ryan WashBut from March 29 to April 2, the pair will be at Emory University in Atlanta competing in the National Debate Tournament sponsored by the American Forensic Association. They join teams from Baylor, California, Goergetown, Georgia, Gonzaga, Hard, Loyola-Marymount, Michigan, Michigan State and two teams each from Kansas, Northwestern and Wake Forest.

Wash and Williams-Green on Monday, Feb. 20, received a first-round at-large bid to the tournament, making Emporia WW one of the top 16 two-person teams in the country. Each year, 76 bids are given to the tournament. The most prestigious bids come in the first round. Wash and Williams-Green are only the second team in ESU history to receive a first-round bid. The last time was in 1976.

The bid allows Emporia WW to bypass the district tournament to qualify. That's a strategic bonus, said Debate Coach Sam Maurer.

"Normally, we would have to use some new stuff we that we haven't used yet at the district tournament just to get to the NDT," Maurer said. "Now, we can hold back on materials we'd rather catch our opponents off guard with come March."

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