A number of Harker students qualified for the National Speech & Debate Tournament at a qualifying event held at Bellarmine College Preparatory this past weekend. The national tournament, sponsored by the National Speech & Debate Association, will take place in Kansas in June.
In Public Forum debate, Jithin Vellian, grade 12, and Nikhil Kishore, grade 11, both qualified. Rohith Kuditipudi and Madhu Nori, both grade 11, qualified in International Extemporaneous Speaking and Original Oratory, respectively. Kenny Zhang, grade 12, automatically qualified for a spot at the national tournament because of a second-place finish at last year’s tournament.
To qualify for the national tournament, most students must place in the top three at a tournament in their district. “The students get one weekend to give their best against some of the toughest opponents in the country, as the California Coast district is one of the top-performing districts in the nation at the national tournament,” said upper school debate teacher Carol Green. According to Green, students who compete every year for a spot at the national tournament number in the tens of thousands.