Harker’s speech and debate team got off to an exciting start this year, earning a Tournament of Champions (TOC) bid at the first tournament of the year. Michael Tsai, Gr. 11, brought home the first TOC qualifying bid for Harker by making it to the final round of Congressional Debate at the Wake Forest Earlybird Invitational. Ziad Jawadi, Gr. 11 and Aakash Jagadeesh, Gr. 10, made it to the round of 16 in Public Forum debate and James Seifert, Gr. 11, made it to semifinals in Dramatic Interpretation.
The following weekend four public forum debaters earned high marks at the Grapevine Invitational in Grapevine, Texas. The teams of Appu Bhaskar and Benjamin Chen, both Gr. 11, as well as junior Justine Liu and sophomore Akshay Jagadeesh made it to the quarterfinal round of the tournament.
The team wrapped up September at the St. Francis Invitational in Mountain View. Seifert placed third in Dramatic Interpretation while Connie Lu, Gr. 12, was named fourth speaker in policy debate. Jawadi and sophomore Aakash Jagadeesh made it to semifinals in public forum while Liu and Akshay Jagadeesh were eliminated again in quarterfinals. Liu was named fourth speaker in public forum debate while Jagadeesh earned the fifth place ranking.
The first weekend in October meant the Coast Forensics League season opener. Sophomores Rohan Bopardikar and Daryl Neubieser earned a wild card spot at the state qualifier in February by going undefeated in the varsity public forum division. Freshmen Shivani Mitra and Isabelle Connell achieved top marks by going undefeated in the junior varsity division of public forum debate.