Kanellopoulos Named District MVP/Debater of the Year
SPOKANE, Wash. – Gonzaga University’s freshman debate team of Alexis Kostun and Jordon Newton has punched another Zag ticket to the upcoming 2012 National Debate Tournament after finishing in the top three at the district’s qualifying tourney at Weber State University. Now, two Gonzaga debate teams will vie for a national debate title.
The freshman team of Alexis Kostun, from Austin, Texas, and Spokane’s Jordon Newton posted a 5-1 record in the field of 18 at district last weekend (Feb. 24-26) to secure one of only three spots left in the NDT, which is set for March 28-April 2 in Atlanta. Kostun placed second in a vote for the Newcomer of the Year honor.
Gonzaga’s top debate team of seniors Leah Moczulski (Mow-ZUHL-skee) and Paul Kanellopoulos (Kan-uh-lop-oh-lus), both from Houston, already secured one of 16 coveted first-round, at-large berths issued to the nation’s best teams. The Zags’ senior team is ranked No. 4 in the nation in the most recent coaches’ poll. The NDT, hosted by Emory University, includes the nation’s best 72 teams.
Also at last weekend’s tourney, the district’s student-debaters voted Assistant Director Steve Pointer as the top overall judge in the district for the third consecutive year. District coaches voted Kanellopoulos as the District MVP/Debater of the Year, marking the second consecutive year a Gonzaga debater has won the award. Moczulski – Kanellopoulos’ debate partner – won the honor last year. Also, Gonzaga junior debater Alexis DiSanza posted a 4-2 record and just missed qualifying for the final available NDT slot.
This marks the 16th straight year Gonzaga has qualified at least one team for the NDT and underscores the consistent excellence that has become a hallmark of the program. Rankings for the top 16 teams will be revealed at the NDT opening ceremonies. Coach Glen Frappier says the Zags’ senior team could earn Gonzaga’s highest ranking ever in the NDT.
For more information, please contact Glen Frappier, director of forensics and senior lecturer for the communication arts department, at (509) 313-6663 or via e-mail.