Kent Denver Speech and Debate places 4th at California tournament

Kent Denver’s Speech and Debate places fourth place overall in the 2013 California Invitational Tournament. Photo courtesy of Kent Denver

Kent Denver’s Speech and Debate places fourth place overall in the 2013 California Invitational Tournament. Photo courtesy of Kent Denver

Submitted by Kent Denver

Kent Denver’s Speech and Debate team performed at an exceptional level and finished in fourth place overall among a field of 237 schools at the 2013 California Invitational Tournament held at the University of California, Berkeley.

A sign that the weekend would go well for the team was the early result turned in by Kent Denver senior Sam Mathews, who arrived in California on Feb. 13 as a competitor in the California Round Robin — an invitation-only tournament that hosted 12 of the nation’s best Lincoln Douglas debaters. After two days of competition, Sam was awarded the Tournament Championship.

After this impressive start, the 48 other students representing Kent Denver contributed to the team’s best-ever performance at the California Invitational, with exceptional programmatic strength across all events.

Since its inception 14 years ago, the Kent Denver Speech and Debate program has grown into one of the premier programs in Colorado and the nation. The team has won 12 state championships and qualified more than 225 individuals to the state tournament. In addition, the squad has earned a top three ranking in nearly every tournament attended since the 2003 season. At the national level, Kent Denver students have taken sixth place at the National Forensics League National Tournament in 2006, third place in Original Oratory at the 2007 National Tournament, fourth place in Policy Debate at the 2008 and 2010 National Tournaments, and sixth place in Lincoln Douglas Debate at the last year’s National Tournament.

Results from the Berkeley tournament

In Humorous Interpretation, in which 184 students from around the country sought the tournament title, Kent Denver advanced eight individuals into the top 48. Sophomore Michael Hudson finished third overall, junior Danny Lovato finished fourth, and sophomore Lane Baumgarten placed fifth.

In DUO Interpretation, four Kent Denver teams advanced to the elimination rounds. Juniors Hannah Monsour and Abbey Walker advanced to the top 14, and the team of Danny Lovato and Bailey Walker finished in fourth place among the field of 106 entrants.

In Original Oratory, five Kent Denver students advanced to the final 48 within the field of 204 speakers, and senior Elise Frank made it to the semi-final round, eclipsing the performance of 93 percent of the field. Frank also advanced to the final round of Impromptu Speaking, where she finished in fifth place overall within the field of 172 competitors.  Three other KDS students advanced to elimination rounds in this highly competitive event.

In Dramatic Interpretation, with 176 students competing for the title, four Kent Denver students advanced to the elimination rounds, with senior Sofia Rainaldi and Danny Lovato finishing in the top 14. Lovato is the first Kent Denver speech competitor to enter and advance to elimination rounds in three separate events at the California Invitational (Humor, DUO, and Drama).

Last but not least in the speech events, one Kent Denver student placed 28th among 76 competitors in Expository Speaking, while another placed in the top 24 in Extemporaneous Speaking, surpassing more than 87 percent of the 185-person field.

In the Debate events, senior Jenna Peters became the first Kent Denver student to advance to elimination rounds in Congressional Debate.  She concluded in the semi-finals of the 134-person field.

In Policy Debate, senior Alex Patel and a visiting partner, Rohan Jennings, navigated the highly competitive 234-team field to amass a 5-1 preliminary round record and enter elimination rounds as the 29th seed. The team finished tied for 17th overall.

In Lincoln-Douglas Debate, 353 debaters vied for the top spot at the podium.  After six preliminary rounds, senior James Callison had amassed a perfect record and entered the elimination rounds as the fifth seed.  Sam Mathews went 5-1 to claim the 13th seed, and senior David Kading claimed a 51st seed with his 4-2 record in preliminary rounds.  Callison and Kading concluded their weekend of debating tied for 17th, while Mathews concluded his tournament in ninth place, losing a very close round to the eventual tournament champion. With this performance, Mathews earned his eighth bid to the prestigious Tournament of Champions at the University of Kentucky; he is tied as the top-qualifying student to this event, the most prestigious debate tournament on the national circuit.

More than 50 Kent Denver students currently participate in the program.

For regular and timely updates of the Kent Denver Speech and Debate team, please follow @kdsspeech and @kdsdebate on Twitter.

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