Scott Harris
KU Debate and Department of Communication Studies

KU debaters excel at American Debate Association Championship Tournament

Fri, 03/10/2023

KU Debate team in spring 2023.

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas team of brothers Jimin Park, senior from Topeka, and Jiyoon Park, freshman from Topeka, took fifth place at the American Debate Association Championship Tournament hosted by Georgetown University. Four KU teams competed in the varsity division March 2-5, and all four of them finished in the top 16 teams at the tournament.

Jiyoon Park (left) and Jimin Park.The team of Park and Park went 5-1 in the preliminary rounds of debates and advanced to the single-elimination rounds as the third seed at the tournament. The team of Ethan Harris, sophomore from Lawrence, and Will Soper, junior from Bucyrus, went 4-2 in the preliminary rounds and advanced to elimination rounds as the seventh seed. The team of John Marshall, freshman from Lawrence, and Jet Semrick, senior from Prairie Village, went 4-2 in the preliminary rounds and advanced to elimination rounds as the 13th seed. The team of Jacob Wilkus, sophomore from Lawrence, and Sabrina Yang, freshman from Overland Park, also went 4-2 in the preliminary rounds and advanced to the elimination rounds as the 19th seed.

Ethan Harris, Will Soper.All four teams were victorious in the first elimination rounds to advance to the final 16 at the tournament. In the octafinals the team of Park and Park met teammates Wilkus and Yang, and the higher seed advanced to the quarterfinals. Harris and Soper lost a 2-1 split decision to Georgetown University, and Marshall and Semrick lost a 2-1 split decision to Northwestern University. Park and Park lost a 2-1 split decision to the University of Kentucky in the quarterfinals. A fifth KU team, freshmen Averi Harker, Olathe, and Rita Pham, Lee’s Summit, competed in the junior varsity division and finished with a 3-3 record at the tournament.

Jet Semrick, John Marshall.Soper was recognized as the eighth-place individual speaker at the tournament, while Jiyoon Park finished as the 11th speaker, Jimin Park the 13th speaker, Harris the 15th speaker and Semrick the 24th speaker. Other schools competing at the tournament included Boston College, Emory University, George Mason University, Georgetown University, the University of Georgia, Gonzaga University, the University of Houston, the University of Indiana, the University of Kentucky, Liberty University, Mary Washington University, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, the University of Minnesota, Missouri State University, the Naval Academy, Northwestern University, Pennsylvania University, the University of Pittsburgh, Samford University, the University of Texas-Austin, the University of Texas-Dallas, Trinity University, the University of Wyoming and Wake Forest University.

Jacob Wilkus, Sabrina Yang.“We are very proud of the performance of all of our students competing at the ADA National Tournament,” said Brett Bricker, associate director of KU Debate. “It is a demonstration of the depth of talent we have in the program and a tribute to all of their hard work over the year.”

KU Debate will next be competing at the National Debate Tournament March 30-April 4.

Top photo: KU Debate team member and coaches. Front: Azja Butler. First row: Jet Semrick, Will Soper, Michael Scott, Sabrina Yang. Back row: Jacob Wilkus, Jiyoon Park, Alaina Walberg, John Marshall, Jimin Park and Ethan Harris.

Top right photo: Jiyoon Park (left) and Jimin Park.

Center right photo: Ethan Harris (left) and Will Soper.

Center right photo: Jet Semrick (left) and John Marshall.

Bottom right photo: Jacob Wilkus (left) Sabrina Yang.

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