ISU Headlines

Idaho State University debate ranked in top 20 in the nation

Posted October 5, 2010

Idaho State University's James M. and Sharon Rupp Debate team continues many years of impressive results in the national standings and is currently ranking 14th in total points this season.

A recent coaches poll places ISU’s top team of Matea Ivanovich and Tony Johnson at 18th in the nation.

The top five schools in terms of points are Emory, Northwestern, Harvard, Cal-Berkeley, and Kansas.

According to  "We did have some concerns about our standing this year after losing one debater from our best team, Danielle Jennings, to graduation," Sarah Partlow-Lefevre, said ISU's director of debate. "But this year’s group has really worked hard and the results are beginning to show.  To be ranked 14th nationally is a great achievement."

Assistant Coach, Scott Odekirk believes "Our ranking reflects both our performance and the strength of our reputation nationally."

Those results include a second-place finish two weeks ago at The Jesuit Debate Tournament at Gonzaga University, where Ivanovich and Johnson defeated teams from The University of Texas San Antonio, Northwestern and Gonzaga in single elimination debates to get into the final round.  A tough final round loss to Kansas State did not diminish the excitement of having started off the year so well.

According to Johnson, who was also the eighth speaker in a pool of 92 students from across the nation, "I give a bunch of credit to our coaching staff.  They kept us focused and motivated for the run through the elimination rounds.  It was a great experience, but now we’ll go back to work so that we can prove to the rest of the schools that we belong."

Assistant coach, Scott Odekirk commented, "This is our best performance at a season opener to date.  If we can stay focused on the task at hand and win some debates, we have a chance to have a very competitive 2010-2011 season."

Over homecoming weekend, Idaho State hosted the annual James M. Rupp Debate Tournament, which included a number of teams from Arizona State, University of Denver, Gonzaga, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Weber State, and Wyoming competing.

ISU's teams included Sheldon Kreger and Lindsay Vanluvanee, Brian Brantley and Andrew Ridgeway, Benjamin Beasley and Roger Copenhaver.  Vanluvanee was the third-place individual speaker at the tournament.  In the final round, Gonzaga lost to one of Wyoming's top teams 3-0.  Idaho State Debate was victorious in the Junior Varsity division where Ben Beasley and Roger Copenhaver beat a team from Wyoming on a 3-0 decision in the final round.  Copenhaver was third speaker in the division.

Assistant coach, Scott Odekirk, was recently honored as the Debate Coach of the Year at the Val A. Browning Round Robin at Weber State University where Lindsay Vanluvanee took home the third-place speaker award.

The ISU Debate team is in action throughout October with tournaments at Northwestern, UNLV and Harvard.

Top 15 Schools in terms of points

1) Emory

2) Northwestern

3) Harvard

4) Cal-Berkeley

5) Kansas

6) Wake Forest

7) Michigan

8) Georgia

9) Michigan State

10)  Gonzaga

11) Georgetown

12)  Kansas State

13)  Missouri State

14) Idaho State

15) University of Texas-Dallas

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