Representing Harker at the National Debate Coaches Association Tournament the weekend of April 11 were Kaavya Gowda, Gr. 12, Kelsey Hilbrich, Gr. 11, sophomores Appu Bhaskar, Benjamin Chen and Ziad Jawadi; and freshman Akshay Jagadeesh.
The California State Tournament took place the weekend of April 18, with David Kastelman, Gr. 12 and Michael Tsai, Gr. 10, being the first Harker students to qualify in Student Congressional debate. Results of the tournaments were not available at Harker News press time.
It is also a record-breaking year for Harker qualifiers to the Tournament of Champions (TOC), where students compete all year to earn qualifying legs. Harker has a fully-qualified policy team for the first time in several years, two public forum teams who automatically qualified based on last year’s successful run, Harker’s first ever double sophomore team to qualify to the TOC and its ver y first freshman qualifier to the TOC. “To qualify as an underclassman is almost unheard of, let alone in your first year!” said US debate teacher Carol Green. Representing Harker as the largest delegation ever to attend from the school at the 2009 TOC will be seniors Mohit Bansal, Raghav Aggarwal and Gowda; juniors Kelsey Hilbrich, Arjun Mody, Adam Perelman and Christopher Eckardt; sophomores Justine Liu and James Seifert and freshman Sonya Chalaka.
Harker attended the Grand National qualifier in Januar y. Attending this tournament over Memorial Day weekend will be juniors Perelman, Mody, Hilbrich and David Mihai; sophomores Liu, Seifer t, Tsai, Hassaan Ebrahim, Christine Chien and Aileen Wen; and freshman Jagadeesh.
Finally, after going undefeated at the National Forensic League qualifier, the oldest national debate tournament, where they placed seventh in the nation last year, Gowda and Hilbrich will travel to Alabama in June to compete for a week at the final tournament of the 2008-09 season.