KU Debate falls just short of national championship; top team finishes with 10-1 record

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Pitted against the University of Michigan in the semifinals of the National Debate Tournament, the University of Kansas team of Azja Butler and Ross Fitzpatrick fell just short of advancing to the finals — losing a narrow 3 to 2 decision, the Kansas Debate Twitter account said Tuesday.

Michigan was ranked as the second team in the nation, the team account said, and although the loss was disappointing, Butler and Fitzpatrick finished with a “legendary” 10-1 record.

Butler was also named Sunday as the tournament’s top individual speaker, an award only two other Kansas debaters had won in the tournament’s 75-year history.

Nathan Martin, who serves as co-president of the team with Butler, came in second place in the tournament’s speaker awards and made it to the quarterfinals of the tournament with partner Graham Revare before losing to Dartmouth University — the top team in the nation.

Michael Scott and Mickey McMahon, KU’s third and final duo in the tournament, were the fourth overall seed and also fell to the team from the University of Michigan to close their tournament with a 7-2 overall record.

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