Friday, September 30, 2005

Miami Debate in Hotlanta

The Miami Debate team traveled last weekend to Atlanta, Georgia to compete against over 100 teams at the Georgia State University tournament.

Mike Maffie (Centerville, OH - soph.) and Jason Young (Centerville, OH - first year) finished with a 4-4 record, losing their break round to Harvard University's second team. Mike and Jason had a bit of bad luck as they were pulled up with a 4-3 record to debate Harvard who had a 5-2 record. They were judged by two-time NDT champion Tristan Morales.

Earlier in the tournament Mike and Jason had exacted a bit of revenge against one of the Kansas teams that Mike had lost to the previous week at the Northern Iowa tournament.

The Miami team of Mike Jensen (Toledo, OH - soph.) and Michael Richardson (St. John's, OH - first year) finished with a 3-5 record. They recorded victories against teams from Wake Forest and Northwestern. Importantly, they also won the year's first "Battle of Miami's" - defeating a team from the University of Miami (FL). The two Mikes lost close debates to elim-bound teams from Harvard and Missouri State.

Finally, Miami's junior varsity team of Lydia Elkins (Dayton, OH - soph.) and Julie Wickenheiser (Cleveland, OH - first year) finished with a 3-3 record, losing their break round to the undefeated team from Emory University.

Our travel photojournal:

Here are the debaters in the van as we were leaving campus for Atlanta.

About 30 minutes later we crossed the Ohio River in Cincinnati.

We passed Mike Maffie's favorite Kentucky State Park. Sadly, we didn't have time to stop and visit.

Near Lexington, Kentucky we stopped for a break. Here are the three Mike's and Jason.

Michael Richardson, the team camel, also known affectionately as "DL" (more on that later), bought his water supply for the next few hours.

The camera-shy Mike Jensen.

Here is Erika Thomas, our assistant coach, signing something in Georgia.

We arrived in Atlanta around 6:00 p.m.

On Friday night we traveled up Piedmont Avenue (one of the few roads in Atlanta not named Peachtree) to Fat Matt's Chicken and Fish shack, where we indulged in a mountain of fried chicken, fish, hush puppies and cole slaw.

At the tournament on Saturday we were joined by Stefan Jiang, a recruit of ours from the Atlanta area. Stefan attended our workshop this past summer and spent the weekend scouting for us.

On both Saturday and Sunday we ate lunch in "Underground Atlanta" which is a large below-ground food court.

And on Sunday night, we tried to eat at a recommended restaurant called "The Vortex" but unfortunately they wouldn't serve DL because of his, um, age.

On the trip home, Erika was exhausted, and slept much of the way.

Here is Michael Richardson, uh, sleeping, we think.

We passed the battle of the "Cross vs. Omar's Adult World."

We also stopped for some fantastic shopping at the "As Seen On TV" store, a favorite of alum Sarah Spring.

We stopped for dinner in Berea, Kentucky to eat at the famous Boone Tavern - a restaurant serving excellent southern food, run by students at the local Berea College.

And here we all are, heading in to the final stretch back to Oxford.

This weekend we are hosting a high school round robin - see a separate post on that later.

Next weekend four Miami teams are traveling to the University of Kentucky's Henry Clay tournament, where we will compete against over 120 of the nation's best teams. The "Clay" is one of the two or three toughest tournaments of the year.