Debaters participate in USC tournament


Liz Yount ’17 prepares to give a speech in a debate round in Slovenia. Yount debated at the tournament with two other high schoolers from other schools around the United States. Printed with permission of Cindi Timmons

Sabrina de Brito

Debaters enjoyed success at their last regular-season tournament, the USC Damus Spring Trojan Championships Sunday.

At the tournament, Evan Engel ’17 made it to octafinals and Connor Engel ’17 advanced to semifinals, securing his qualification for the Tournament of Champions. Additionally, Matthew Gross ’19, Jake Davidson ’19 and Vishan Chaudhary ’19 advanced to double octafinals at the tournament.

Representing Team USA debate team at the International Worlds Schools Debate Tournament in Slovenia Wednesday through Sunday, Liz Yount ’17 won second-place speaker overall.

At the Cal Invitational at Berkeley Feb. 13-15, Cameron Cohen ’16 advanced to quarterfinals.

At the Golden Desert, Julia Cosgrove ’18 reached octafinals, while Kimberly Kimura ’19, Spencer Paul ’19 and Chaudhary advanced to double octafinals.

Every week since January, debaters have volunteered to coach debate practices at the magnet school Valor Academy in Panorama City, which recently founded its debate program and reached out to Harvard-Westlake for coaching help. Head of Debate Outreach Opportunities Dario Madyoon ’17 said that he thinks the collaboration is a great way for students to give back to the debate community and to work on their coaching skills.

“I’ve been going there for long enough to form connections with the kids,” Evan Engel said. “I also think it’s a really good feeling to be able to pass along knowledge to people who are interested in the subject.”

The debate summer program debate.LA is accepting registrants for their Harvard-Westlake-based camp. There are spots available in the Lincoln-Douglas style debate class June 20-24 and the middle school debate classes occurring the same week.