UK Debate Team Finishes Fall Semester Strong


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 17, 2015) — The University of Kentucky debate team has had one of its most successful semesters to date.

The team finished strong at Wake Forest, the largest tournament of the first semester with almost 300 participants. UK had three teams reach the elimination rounds for the third time this semester, including two in the sweet 16 and one in the elite eight. Donald Grasse was the 5th overall speaker at the tournament and his partner Theo Noparstak was 7th.

Grasse and Noparstak have been invited to the Dartmouth Round Robin — a debate limited to the top seven teams in the country. This is the first time UK has been invited since 2002. The other teams invited include Michigan, Harvard, Emory, Berkeley, Wake Forest and Michigan State.

UK Debate Team Coach Dave Arnett said, “This group has worked hard and been talented in past years but with three seniors leading the way, we've managed to get over the competitive hump this season.”

The squad has made it to at least the elite eight at every major tournament so far this year. With over 100 teams from across the country at each of those, it really demonstrates how much they have accomplished.

The team also attended the prestigious Harvard debate tournament and reached the elimination rounds for the first time since 2001. Holmes Hampton and Marcel Roman reached the sweet 16 and Grasse and Noparstak reached the quarterfinals. Grasse placed 4th overall and Noparstak placed 5th.

Arnett is hopeful for the future of the team, “With talented students in each class and what looks to be another strong recruiting group, I think the future should be very strong.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Blair Hoover, (859) 257-6398;