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Lewis & Clark debaters win prestigious tournament

November 12, 2012

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Lewis & Clark debaters Joe Hykan ’13 and Benjamin Mann ’14 recently won the Pat Kennedy Memorial Tournament, hosted by University of the Pacific and the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission.

The round robin tournament, open to only 12 of the top parliamentary debate teams in the nation, focused on topics of mass transportation and public transit. Among the topics debated were high-speed rail, self driving cars, emission reduction, and eminent domain.

Hykan and Mann won six of their seven debates, defeating teams from Pepperdine University, College of Idaho, and University of California at Los Angeles in early debates.

After defeating Concordia University in the semifinals, the Lewis & Clark duo debated a team from Southern Illinois University in the final round. Southern Illinois is consistently one of the top debate programs in the nation, and currently has the top team in the nation. In addition, the final debate was unique because it was judged by an audience of public citizens instead of debate professionals. Hykan and Mann connected well with the audience and won by a 55-35 margin.

Hykan, who is currently ranked on the eighth place team in the nation, was also named the third best individual speaker at the event.

“It is an incredible honor to win the Pat Kennedy Memorial Tournament,” Joe Gantt, director of forensics, said of the victory. “The field of teams at that tournament is impressive, and it is a testament to Joe and Ben’s hard work that they came out on top. I am especially proud of the fact that we were able to win debates in front of both an audience of debate judges as well as the broader audience of local community members.” 

Forensics at Lewis & Clark