This story was submitted by speech and debate department chair Jenny Achten.
Harker closed out the national championship final round in Lincoln-Douglas debate. Seniors Andy Lee and Akshay Manglik met in the final round and were declared co-champions, along with junior Deven Shah, who was walked over in semifinals by Lee.
After six tough preliminary rounds, the tournament created a single elimination bracket of the top 32 debaters, meaning that the students had to win debate after debate to close out finals. Lee, Manglik and Shah were also joined by junior Anshul Reddy and sophomore Rahul Mulpuri in winning top 20 speaker awards. Reddy and Mulpuri, along with sophomore Deeya Viradia and freshman Ansh Sheth, were also in elimination rounds, giving Harker the best overall representation in elimination rounds.
The online tournament was hosted by the National Debate Coaches Association. In all, 104 schools, representing 28 states, competed at the tournament. Coach Greg Achten was named one of three finalists for Educator of the Year by the organization. Lee summed up the weekend well, saying, “It was a team effort. We could not have done it without our amazing coaches and teammates who continued helping, even when they were no longer in the tournament.”