Debate team leads national standings


Debaters prepare for their round on nuclear energy. Credit: Printed with permission of Mike Bietz

Anthony Weinraub

Debaters started off the season with wins at multiple national competitions.

Thirteen students attended the Greenhill Fall Classic from Sept. 15 to Sept. 18.

Evan Engel ’17, Connor Engel ’17, Jake Davidson ’19 and Indu Pandey ’18 participated in the Lincoln-Douglas division, in which debaters compete one-on-one. Connor Engel, Evan Engel and Pandey won qualifying bids to the Tournament of Champions. Davidson also made it to elimination rounds.

Connor Engel won top speaker in the Round Robin and top overall speaker, Evan Engel won third speaker in the Round Robin and Pandey won fifteenth speaker overall.

“It was a lot of hard work, but the Harvard-Westlake team prides ourselves in always being the most prepared team with the most high quality research,” Connor Engel said.

The World Schools debate team of Jesse Nadel ’17, Liz Yount ’17, Dario Madyoon ’17 and Kevin Wesel ’17 won its division at Greenhill, defeating the United States national team. Yount debated on behalf of the Harvard-Westlake team even though she is also a member of the national team.

“Being on Team USA helps me be a better leader for the team, which I hope the younger kids can see and eventually model,” Yount said.

Evan Engel earned an additional bid at the Loyola Invitational in Los Angeles, giving him a qualification for the Tournament of Champions. The tournament lasted from Sept. 10 to Sept. 12. Alexandra Mork ’20, Connor Engel and Pandey all lost in the octafinal round of that tournament.

“The coaches have made a focused push to organize our prep squad better and it really payed off,” Evan Engel said.

Debaters also attended the Yale Invitational tournament from Sept. 16 to Sept. 18. Jaya Nayar ’20 earned a bid, and Mork advanced to the elimination rounds.

At the Grapevine Classic in Dallas, Davidson, Vishan Chaudhary ’19 and Spencer Paul ’19 advanced to the elimination rounds. Paul also earned his first bid to the Tournament of Champions to be held next April.

Debaters attended the Jack Howe Memorial Tournament in Long Beach, California from Sept. 24 to Sept. 25. The tournament is intended for novices to hone their debating skills.

At the Holy Cross Navy and Old Gold Debate and Speech exhibition in New Orleans, six out of eight debaters made it to the elimination rounds. Kimberly Kimura ’19 lost in the quarterfinals.

“My goal is to have a season I can be proud of,” Connor Engel said.