The Loyola Marymount University debate team recently won the U.S. National Open debating competition at the Claremont Colleges, besting more than 50 teams from 18 universities.
Leading LMU to victory was the team of Krikor Kouyoumdjian, a junior liberal arts major, and Michael Dewey, a freshman economics major. The pair captured the title by defeating two teams from the U.S. Air Force Academy and one from the University of La Verne in the final round.
The tournament is one of the top debate competitions in the United States, LMU officials said.
Jay Busse, associate professor of communication studies and debate coach, noted the win is significant because five of six “first-string” debaters were unable to participate due to conflicts with the Law School Admission Test and other academic responsibilities.
“This marks a good beginning for the debating season,” Busse said. “Our win was accomplished with LMU’s second string of debaters competing against the top teams from other universities.”
LMU had five teams in the tournament and four had winning records in the eight preliminary rounds.
Among the schools that competed in the contest were Cornell University, Colgate University, the University of Vermont, the University of Texas, USC, UCLA, University of California-Irvine and Pomona College.