WDI Alumni Monica Medeiros and Ellen Baker Place Third in Consecutive Competitions

BY KASSANDRA COLON

Seniors at Lincoln College Prep Academy in Kansas City, Monica Medeiros (WDI, 2014) and Ellen Baker (WDI; 2014, 2015) recently debated at the University of Oklahoma Round Robin (RR) and the Heritage Hall tournament. The team had great success at the round robin, placing 3rd and finishing as semi-finalists at the Heritage Hall tournament. They accomplished this despite facing administrative difficulty and lack of school support for their debate participation. Their recent success is more impressive because they only attended two prior 2015-2016 tournaments where they lost a bid round (Dowling) and dropped in octos (KCKCC).

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Baker and Medeiros debate at Dowling.

“We did well at this round robin and tournament last year, but I’m confident that we are in a much better position this year,” said Monica, who earned 4th speaker at the RR and 3rd speaker at Heritage Hall. Their record at the round robin was 6-2 including wins against impressive teams from Union, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Jenks.

“Every round was different, and competitive,” said Ellen. “I appreciate the round robin not only because it was a unique opportunity to be showcased at a school I’m thinking of attending, but it was also a good forum for critical debate, which is lacking in the Midwest in particular. Debating two of the bid leaders was a really good way to try and step it up, so that we would be ready for the tournament and warmed up.”

At the end of the two day tournament, Lincoln Prep came in 3rd, Law Magnet placed 2nd, and Little Rock Central won. These three teams also swept the top 6 speaker places. It is notable that Monica and Ellen, who have only two tournaments under their belts, finished third to two teams with a combined total of 14 TOC bids.

At Heritage Hall, the focused work continued. Monica and Ellen finished preliminary debates with a 6-0 win-loss record and were the first seed. Because they were high in the bracket, the team advanced through doubles without debating. During the remainder of elimination debates they participated in many close debates with lengthy decision times. In octos, they picked up against Moore CM on a 3-0 decision. With the finals bid on the line, Monica and Ellen debated in their second bid round of the year against Liberal Arts and Sciences’ top team. A disappointing 3-0 loss, however, left the bid just slightly out of their grasp.

“It’s disappointing, but I won’t discredit the work we did up to that point. I’m happy with our showing, and we are looking ahead, and getting ready be even better at Berkeley,” said Ellen.

The WDI would like to congratulate the team on a good run despite facing challenges both in and outside of debates.

Kassandra Colon is a WDI 2014 & 2015 Alumn and a Member of the WDI Board of Directors.  If you have alumni news, please let us know.  We’d love to hear from you!