Debate duo wins third bid to championship

Katerina Lopez, reporter

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After earning the minimum two bids to the Tournament of Champions faster than any Lab debate team in history, seniors Michael Hellie and Dheven Unni earned their third bid at the University of Michigan tournament Nov. 4.

Michael said there are around 10 tournaments a year, most of which are spent trying to qualify for the Tournament of Champions. Dheven and Michael are one of the first 30 debate teams in the nation to qualify.

At the University of Michigan tournament, Dheven and Michael made it to the octofinals of the competition. Out of 252 speakers, Michael won second best speaker and Dheven won 16th best speaker.

Michael said he and Dheven are close friends and that their team dynamic contributes to their success.

“What is most likely a bigger factor is the amount of work that we’ve been putting in,” Michael said. “We spend most of our time developing new arguments that we can read in important rounds. This means that teams are not usually prepared to answer them which gives us an advantage in the debate.”

Michael and Dheven compete next at the Glenbrooks Speech and Debate Tournament Nov. 18-20.