Debate team hosts tournament

Aaron Lyons

The debate team hosted a tournament at the Upper School Nov. 2-3.

The tournament was comprised of schools mainly from California with a select few schools from other states. Harvard-Westlake debaters did not participate in the tournament which concluded at the Courtyard Mariott in Sherman Oaks.

“The tournament went well, the debaters were very respectful of the campus, although they seemed to have a very hard time navigating the massive maze that is the Upper School,” Connor Engel ’17 said.

At another tournament in New York, hosted by Bronx Science Speech and Debate Team Oct. 16, Annie Kors ’14 qualified for the octofinals and the invite-only round robin, earning the second speaker award while Julie Engel ’14 and Shelby Heitner ’14 qualified for the double-octofinals.

At St. Mark’s School in Texas Oct. 19, Cameron Cohen ’16 and Nick Steele ’16 qualified for the double-octofinals and bid rounds, where Steele won 11th speaker.

The following weekend, Michael O’Krent ’14 made it to the quarterfinals and Steele and Cohen qualified for octofinals, and Cohen was awarded 10th speaker.

“The season seems to be going really well so far,” Cohen said. The first few tournaments have been really fun, and I’m sure there’s more to come.”

The team initiated a new program this season where eighth graders can be exposed to high school style debate, which previously was only allowed for grades nine and up. The debate team has a substantial amount of novices this season.

“The new program is a great way to give debaters more experience going into freshman year, the earlier you start the better you can get.,” Noah Simon ’17 said. This will be a useful tool to give Harvard-Westlake debaters an important edge.”

Since the beginning of the season, the team has competed in Texas, San Jose and Las Vegas.