This article was originally published in the summer 2013 Harker Quarterly.
Harker’s upper school debate squads saw plenty of success in the spring. Their most recent competition was the National Catholic Forensic League’s (NCFL) Grand National Tournament in Philadelphia, held over Memorial Day weekend. There, Zina Jawadi, grade 11, placed fourth out of hundreds of competitors in original oratory. Meanwhile, Kenny Zhang, grade 11, was a quarterfinalist in dramatic interpretation; Steven Wang, grade 10, and junior Andrew Wang were octofinalists in extemporaneous speaking and original oratory, respectively; and Saachi Jain, grade 11, was a semifinalist in Congressional debate.
At the National Debate Coaches Association Championships in April, Pranav Reddy, grade 10, was a finalist in Lincoln-Douglas debate, finishing second, while Reyhan Kader, grade 12, and Kevin Duraiswamy, grade 11, finished third in Public Forum. Also placing high in Public Forum was the team of seniors Kiran Arimilli and Neel Jani, who finished in the top eight. Shivani Mitra, grade 12, and Stephanie Lu, grade 11, finished in the top 12, as did the team of juniors Sreyas Misra and Neil Khemani.
Grade 11 student Srikar Pyda won the seventh place speaker award, and Reddy won the eighth place speaker award in Lincoln-Douglas debate. Other individual achievements in Public Forum debate were Arimilli winning the seventh place speaker award and Lu winning the 10th place speaker award. In Congressional debate, sophomore Leon Chin earned sixth place.
At the California High School Speech Association’s State Tournament, also held in April, Zhang reached the semifinals of dramatic interpretation, while Madhuri Nori, grade 10, and Andrew Wang both reached the semifinals of Original Oratory.
The Tournament of Champions, held April 27-29, saw more Harker students placing high in Public Forum debate. The team of Anuj Sharma and Aneesh Chona, both grade 12, reached the top eight, with two additional teams – Kader and Duraiswamy and seniors David Grossman and Nik Agarwal – placing in the top 16. Misra and Khemani reached the elimination round. Also performing well at this tournament was Steven Wang, who was a quarterfinalist in extemporaneous speaking.