Debate Team members continue strong performance with high seeding during distance learning


Charlotte Henderson

Teams advance to sextofinals and octofinals, and competitors earn high ranks as speakers at the two recent debate tournaments.

Anathea Carrigan, Assistant Editor

Results from two recent virtual debate tournaments show that the varsity and novice team members are improving. 

In the Dowling Catholic Paradigm tournament Dec. 11-13, varsity juniors Aaron Kim and Berk Oto finished 16th seed and advanced to sextofinals. Sophomore Sara Kumar and junior Tech Nix also advanced to sextofinals, finishing 23rd seed overall.

Ninth grade team Adam Cheema and Celine Derroitte and team Cyrus Esmailzadeh and Austin Kim competed in the novice division. Both teams finished with an even record, winning the same number of rounds that they lost. 

At the Spartan Classic Dec. 4-7, where only novices competed, ninth graders Austin Kim and Mahi Shah finished 3rd seed; Connor Booth and Adam Cheema finished 10th seed; and Anika Gupta and Lena Valenti finished 11th seed. All teams advanced to octofinals. Mahi was named top speaker in her division and Connor won 10th best speaker. 

Debate captain Andrada Nicolae said she was pleased with the results and hopes the team can continue its success at debating through video conference. 

“Our team is consistently performing well and doing an amazing job adapting to this remote setting, especially our novices who were thrown right into an online model of debate that makes it more difficult to learn at times,” Andrada said. “Over the next few weeks, we will be pushing them to branch out and take more initiative over what they research.”