Harker debate has performed well throughout the fall and winter of 2009 and is already beginning 2010 on a successful note.
Kelsey Hilbrich, Gr. 12 and Fred Enea, Gr. 10, won the PFDebate.com National Public Forum Challenge III in the final round Jan. 10. Watch for the full update!
New Year’s Weekend:
In Los Angeles, seven Lincoln-Douglas debaters and seven Public Forum teams braved the morning New Year’s Day traffic to compete in the first debate tournament of 2010. Five of the Public Forum teams advanced to elimination rounds: Revanth Kosaraju and Ishan Taneja, both Gr. 10, as well as Benjamin Chen and Kristi Lui, both Gr. 11, made it to the top 15 while junior Justine Liu and sophomore Akshay Jagadeesh lost on a 2-1 decision in quarterfinals.
Earning their second bid to the Tournament of Champions, sophomores Rohan Bopardikar and Daryl Neubieser were eliminated in semifinals but have completed their qualification to the Tournament of Champions. This is the earliest a sophomore-sophomore team has ever qualified in the season.
Hilbrich and Enea reclaimed Harker’s title of Public Forum champions by winning the tournament. This is also their second TOC bid, qualifying them to the Tournament of Champions in May.
In December, Hilbrich and Enea bookended their holiday break by going to Minnesota to compete in the Blake School tournament and Public Forum Round Robin. Eliminated in quarterfinals at the regular tournament on Saturday, the duo fought through competition at the Round Robin to make it to the final round of the Sunday competition. Although they lost the final round on a 3-2 decision, Hilbrich was named the top speaker of the tournament.
After finishing their finals, Lincoln-Douglas debaters headed to the East Bay to compete against some of the toughest West Coast debaters in their event. Roshni Bhatnagar, Gr. 11, made it to elimination rounds of the varsity division, finishing in the top 32 in competition. She was named the 15th best speaker at the tournament. In the junior varsity division, Emily Wang, Gr. 9, ranked high enough in the preliminary rounds to “bye” through the first elimination round. Wang ended up placing in the top eight of the tournament and was named the second-best speaker in her division.
At a tournament held in San Diego, junior Aditya Parige made his season debut on the national circuit, fighting through a large preliminary field in Humorous Interpretation to advance to the semifinal round. Not satisfied with just being in semifinals, Parige outperformed his peers to make it to the final round where he ended the tournament with the fifth place trophy.
In San Jose, four Harker students went undefeated at the Lincoln-Douglas novice league tournament: Eric Kong, Gr. 10 and Kevin Susai, Arhum Siddiqui and Apri Tang, all Gr. 9.
A group of 19 students traveled to the suburbs of Chicago to compete in the largest national tournament of the fall. Michael Tsai, Gr. 11, continued his Congressional Debate success by advancing to the semifinal round of Student Congress. Hilbrich and Enea made it to the quarterfinal round of the Public Forum division.
Competing at the Fall Individual Events league tournament in Milpitas, Howard Lio, Gr. 11, advanced to the semifinal round of Humorous Interpretation. In the Public Forum varsity division, the following teams went undefeated: Mark Roh, Gr. 12 and James Du, Gr. 11; Liu and Jagadeesh; and Kosaraju and Taneja.
Earning their first bids to the Public forum Tournament of Champions, the teams of junior Ziad Jawadi and sophomore Aakash Jagadeesh as well as Enea and Akshay Jagadeesh made it to the round of 16 at the Apple Valley tournament in Minnesota.