Lexington, KY – (October 7th, 2021) Over the course of six days the University of Kentucky debate team hosted back-to-back intercollegiate debate competitions. Both competitions saw undergraduate students competing on the topic “Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase prohibitions on anticompetitive business practices by the private sector by at least expanding the scope of its core antitrust laws”.

The first tournament was the fiftieth edition of the “Run for the Roses”. It featured seven of the top two person teams in the country. Students from Emory University, Harvard University, Northwestern University, the University of Kansas, the University of Kentucky, the University of Michigan, the University of Southern California participated in seven round tournament featuring a round robin format over two days. Giorgio Rabbini & Rafael Pierry from the University of Michigan went undefeated and were crowned the Champions. Giorgio Rabbini was also the round robin’s top speaker.

The second tournament was the “JW Patterson Debates”. It saw one hundred and twenty-eight teams from forty-three schools compete across three divisions based on experience levels: Novice, Wildcat, and Open. Each team was paired in six preliminary debates, followed by the top thirty-two Open teams, and top fifty percent Novice and Wildcat teams advance to a single elimination bracket based on the results of the preliminary rounds.

The Novice division showcased competitors with little to no experience in debate and cleared to a partial Quarterfinal round featuring teams from Indiana University, the United States Naval Academy, and the University of Houston. The Final Round saw a 3-0 victory for Houston’s Kayla Fries & Nine Abad over Indiana’s Jonathan Weisbach & Zane Kierzyk. In addition to winning the tournament Nine Abad from Houston was recognized as the Top Speaker of the division.

The Wildcat division showcased competitors with limited experience in debate and cleared the top eight teams in the division to a Quarterfinal round featuring teams from George Mason University, Gonzaga University, Macalester College, Michigan State University, Oakton Community College, the University of Central Oklahoma, the University of Houston, and the University of Michigan. The Final Round saw a 3-0 victory for the hybrid team of Luis Toro from Oakton and Gabe Karsh from Macalester over Gonzaga’s Andrea Moreno & Abby Morioka. Nicholas Dawson from Gonzaga was crowned the Top Speaker of the division.

The Open division is the highest level of competition in CEDA debate and cleared the top thirty-two teams in the division to a Double Octofinal round. The quarterfinals featured teams from Emory University, George Mason University, Harvard University, Liberty University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Texas, Austin. The Final Round saw Michigan’s Rafael Pierry & Giorgio Rabbini defeating Liberty University’s Kat Cazeau & Natalie Robinson on a split 2-1 decision. Natalie Robinson was crowned as the Top Speaker of the Division, marking the second time this year she has been recognized for that honor.

The two tournaments on the third weekend of the competitive season provided a total of over thirty-two thousand minutes of speaking time for undergraduate students. Students engaged in a minimum of three debates in favor of the resolution and three opposed, requiring them to test their hours of research and preparation. Enabling students to build skills in critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.


Cross Examination Debate Association was founded in 1971. CEDA is currently responsible for formulating the annual intercollegiate policy debate topic used in tournament competition throughout the nation. Throughout the season, CEDA calculates National Sweepstakes Standings, the national and regional rankings of member institutions based on compiled tournament results.