This story was submitted by Jenny Achten, Harker speech and debate chair.
Harker was the first place overall school at last weekend’s Cal Invitational UC Berkeley speech and debate tournament. The sweepstakes award was calculated by adding up the overall strength of the team across all events. The tournament is massive, with over 2,000 competitors from more than 200 schools representing 28 states.
Outstanding individual performances by many middle and upper school students contributed to this special award. In congressional debate, seniors Jason Lin and Nathan Ohana, junior Aaditya Gulati, and sophomore Arissa Huda won awards. In varsity Lincoln-Douglas, seniors Akshay Manglik and Andy Lee, juniors Anshul Reddy and Deven Shah, sophomores Deeya Viradia and Rahul Mulpuri, as well as freshman Ansh Sheth placed. Junior William Chien and sophomore Michelle Jin placed in extemporaneous speaking. Chien also won an award in impromptu speaking, along with junior Andrea Thia, sophomore Sara Wan and seventh grader Pavitra Kasthuri. Kasthuri also won an award in dramatic interpretation.
In informative speaking, sophomore Zubin Khera and freshman Iris Fu placed. In junior varsity Lincoln-Douglas debate, eighth graders Navya Samuel and Stefan Maxim, and seventh graders Ananya Pradhan, Danielle Steinbach, Tanvi Sivakumar, Disha Gupta and Sofia Shah won awards. Eighth graders Veer and Ruhan Sahasi were in elimination rounds of junior varsity public forum debate. In original oratory, senior Julia Biswas, and sophomores Dyllan Han, Austina Xu and Eileen Ma placed. Finally, in varsity public forum debate, award winners included seniors Emma Dionne and Fonda Hu, and juniors Caden Lin, Vedant Kenkare, Rohan Rashingkar, Arnav Jain, Vinay Sudarsanam and Andrew Vodinh-Ho.