Four qualify to debate in national tournament

Julia Aizuss

Four debaters have qualified for the Tournament of Champions, more than any other school in the country, according to Head Coach Mike Bietz

To qualify, a debater must earn two bids by reaching certain rounds at ranked tournaments.

Brendan Gallagher ’13, Annie Kors ’14, Michael O’Krent ’14 and Andrew Sohn ’13 each receieved two bids by reaching qualification rounds at various tournaments, and will compete at the national championship at the University of Kentucky in May.

At the Southwest Speech and Debate Institute Tournament at Brophy Prepatory in Pheonix held in late September, O’Krent and Sohn debated against each other in the final round of the tournament. Julie Engel ’14 made it to the quarterfinal round and Kors continued to the semifinals. Kors, O’Krent and Sohn received bids and O’Krent won Top Speaker.

Tommy Choi ’14, Gallagher, Shelby Heitner ’14 and Sohn made it through to the elimination rounds at the Voices Presentation Invitational in Palo Alto Oct. 5-8. Choi, Heitner and Sohn lost in the round of 32, Kors lost in the round of 16 and Gallagher made it to the quarterfinal round.

Kors was also one of 14 students nation-wide invited to the Voices Round Robin in San Jose and received her second bid at the New York City Invitational. Gallagher also competed in the invitation-only Round Robin at the tournament.

O’Krent qualified at the Heart of Texas Invitational Speech and Debate Tournament at St. Mark’s School in Dallas. Engel made it to round of 16, earning her first bid.

Gallagher was the top speaker and O’Krent placed sixth at Meadows Invitational Tournament in Las Vegas Oct. 26-28. Gallagher received his second bid, qualifying for the TOC and O’Krent received a third bid in the final round of the competition.

Sohn qualified for the tournament at the MinneApple Debate Tournament in Apple Valley, Minn., Nov. 2-3, by   receiving his second bid in the round of 16

Debaters have until February to qualify for the TOC.