Debate finishes with strong rankings at virtual competitions


Charlotte Henderson

The junior varsity and novice debate teams end their competition season and work on preparing for next year’s topic on water resource protections.

Téa Tamburo, Content Manager

The debate team finished with strong records at the Harvard National Forensics tournament held by videoconference Feb. 12-15 and at the Cross River Classic tournament held Feb. 19-21.
In the novice division at the Harvard National, ninth graders Connor Booth and Adam Cheema finished in the fourth seed and advanced to the finals. Connor was awarded ninth best speaker. Ninth graders Cyrus Esmailzadeh and Mahi Shah finished with a winning record. 

“It’s really great anytime they’re calling out the speaker awards and you hear your name in the top 10,” Connor said. “It’s a great feeling, but it more marks personal achievements because in the start of the year I hadn’t made the list of top 10 for multiple tournaments.”  

In the varsity division, juniors Aaron Kim and Berk Oto finished 19th seed. They advanced to a bid round but were eliminated in octofinals. Juniors Brandon Bousquette and Tech Nix finished 22nd seed and advanced to double-octofinals. Junior varsity members Sara Kumar and Serena Thomas, both sophomores, competed in the varsity division and finished 53rd seed. 

The team continued their success at the Cross River Classic, with Sara and Serena competing again in the varsity division. Juniors Aaron Kim and Brent Pennington went undefeated. They won top seed and advanced to the semifinals; Aaron earned fifth best speaker and Brent won 13th best speaker. 

“I think that the competition at these national tournaments are definitely a little more difficult, and mainly it’s like seniors and juniors,” Sara said about competing in the varsity division. “I think it’s a good exposure to the tough competition and for what we’re going to see for next year.”