Students debate for U.S. internationally

Jessica Spitz

Six students and an alumnus represented the United States in international debate tournaments in Alabama, Bermuda, China and the Czech Republic during the summer.

Luke Holthouse ’13, Tommy Choi ’14, Annie Kors ’14, Sara Evall ’15, Timothy Song ’15, Amelia Miller ’15 and Nathan Lee ’16 competed with the United States World Schools Debate team, based out of Claremont McKenna College. Students from other schools also represented the United States while abroad.

Kors and Miller participated in the National Forensics League Nationals World Schools Round Robin in Birmingham, Ala. They were part of a three-person team that finished with a record of 3-2. Kors placed 11th as individual speaker, while Miller won eighth place. Most of the competitors’ free time was spent preparing for upcoming debates, but they also interacted with students from other countries and toured the cities.

Choi, who debated in Nanking, China, visited the mausoleum of Sun Yat-sen and the Rape of Nanking Massacre Museum.

Choi was the only Harvard-Westlake student to participate in the Third China National High Schools’ English Debating Championship, where he won fourth place as an individual speaker. His team made the finals, where they were defeated by the Chinese national team.

“Unlike most tournaments, there were only a few international teams,” Choi said. “Since most of the teams were from China, most of the kids were interacting in Chinese, making it much harder to interact with students at the tournament.”

Kors, Song, and Holthouse competed in the Pan-American Debate Championships in Hamilton, Bermuda. The team went 4-2, losing to two Canadian teams in the preliminary rounds. Holthouse received 10th place in the tournament.

All seven students attended the Heart of Europe tournament in Olomouc, Czech Republic. Lee was on a team with debaters from other schools and lost in the quarterfinals, as did Holthouse, Choi and Song’s team.

Kors, Miller and Evall lost to a Canadian team in the final round. Evall placed fifth for individual speaking while Miller received eighth place.