UTSA debaters finish season with ranking of 10th in nation

Debate

Back row (from left): Debaters Andy Montee, Chris Thomas, Tyler Colwell and Assistant Coach Philip DiPiazza
Front row: Debaters Austin Montee, Derek Liles and Michael Tahmoressi

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(April 13, 2010)--As the 2009-2010 season came to an end, UTSA debaters faced the daunting task of two major national championship tournaments hosted by UC Berkeley, an 11-day spring vacation debate-fest.

At the first tournament, the National Debate Tournament, an invitation-only competition structured much like basketball's NCAA National Championship (NDT), UTSA qualified one team, Andy Montee and Chris Thomas, appearing in their second consecutive NDT.

UTSA has qualified for this elite field of debaters three times in the last five years. Montee and Thomas won four of their eight debates, falling one ballot short of progressing to elimination rounds. Assistant Debate Coach Chris Crowe judged every elimination round including the final national championship debate.

The Cross Examination Debate Association National Tournament (CEDA) came next. UTSA entered three teams in the open field of 208 teams from across the country. Andy Montee and Chris Thomas had a very successful run in the tournament. They won seven of eight preliminary rounds, which resulted in a seventh-seed position in elimination rounds.

Montee and Thomas defeated teams from UT Dallas, Oklahoma, Liberty, Emory and Louisville in the preliminary rounds. After winning their first two elimination rounds, they lost to Towson University on a 2-1 split decision, ending up sixth in the tournament. Two other UTSA teams also competed at CEDA: Austin Montee and Derek Liles, and Tyler Colwell and Michael Tahmoressi.

Chris Thomas won eighth speaker out of 416 debaters; Austin Montee was 21st. Thomas was named to the CEDA All-American Debate Team and Montee was chosen for the Academic All-American Team. Chris Crowe, UTSA assistant debate coach, was elected as CEDA's South-Central Region Critic of the Year. He judged the championship round of the tournament, making him the third critic in debate history to appear on the final panels of the NDT and CEDA in the same year.

UTSA Debate finished the year ranked 10th in the nation, ranked behind schools such as UC Berkeley, Northwestern, Cornell and Emory, and ahead of a long list of debate powerhouses: U.S. Military Academy, Harvard, Vanderbilt, UT Austin, Baylor, Dartmouth and Kentucky.

UTSA debaters now will immerse themselves in their studies and begin to research and prepare themselves for another intense and hopefully successful season beginning in August.