Debate Team Finishes National Tourney in Top 10

UT Dallas Places 9th Out of 78 Teams As Campus Hosts Event for First Time

Apr. 11, 2011

One of two UT Dallas debate teams present tied for ninth place in this year’s 65th annual National Debate Tournament (NDT).

Andrew Baker and Collin Roark

Andrew Baker and Collin Roark compete at the National Debate Tournament.

A total of 78 teams competed in the tournament, held March 24-28 on the UT Dallas campus. The event marked the first time that UT Dallas has hosted a national debate tournament and only the fourth time that a Texas university has held the NDT.

Senior Andrew Baker and junior Collin Roark, the top UT Dallas team, finished with an overall record of seven wins, three losses and 19 total ballots, earning the ninth spot. Their losses came against Harvard University and the University of Michigan.

“They had a very difficult selection of opponents, the toughest road of any team at the tournament in my opinion. All but one of the teams we defeated finished in the top 20 nationally at the end of the regular season,” said Debate Program Director Christopher Burk.

Andrew Baker

Andrew Baker

Collin Roark Collin Roark

Andrew Baker was named the ninth individual speaker out of 156 competitors at the tournament, ranking highest among any individual speaker from any Texas university. Ninth place is the highest speaker award ever received by a UT Dallas debate team member at the NDT.

“The individual awards are a product of the coaching and team based work which backs the potential of any given debater,” said Baker, who is tying up his last year of competition. “Debate is some of the most fast-paced, trial-by-fire education I think I will ever experience in life. Skills applicable to almost any profession are cultivated through an emphasis on rapidity, quality research acquisition and application, and executing public speaking under pressure.”

The second UT Dallas team, junior Wes Dwyer and sophomore Mayu Takeda, finished with two wins, six losses and nine total ballots.  

“UT Dallas was the only college in the Metroplex to qualify for the NDT this season – and we qualified two teams,” Burk said.

This is the eighth consecutive year that UT Dallas has qualified.

Northwestern University went undefeated at the tournament, earning 12 wins in a row, taking this year’s championship title. This is the fourth time in 10 years that Northwestern has won the NDT.

Next year’s tournament will be held at Emory University in Atlanta.


Media Contact: Karah Hosek, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4329, karah.hosek@utdallas.edu
or Chaz Lilly, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, cll093020@utdallas.edu
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