Harker debater wins tournament hosted at upper school

Su Jin Nam

Many of the top debaters in the country competed at a national Lincoln-Douglas tournament hosted by Harvard-Westlake that concluded Monday night at the Courtyard Sherman Oaks.

Pranav Reddy from Harker School in San Jose won the tournament, Cameron Cohen ’16 was named third speaker and Nick Steele ’16 was named seventh speaker.

The event began Jan. 2 with a small pre-tournament round robin called the Debate.LA Challenge.

In the Novice division, Nick Platt ’19 was named top speaker, Indu Pandey ’18 was named third speaker and the winner of the tournament in the Novice division, and Warren Wang ’19 was named ninth speaker.

Harvard-Westlake debaters not in the Novice division were not eligible to compete in the tournament because Harvard-Westlake was the hosting school.

Harvard-Westlake Debate Coach Mike Bietz said there were 204 students and 98 judges from 57 schools and 16 states competing in the tournament.

During the tournament, the U.S. Debate Team held training sessions at the upper school campus to prepare for the World Schools Debating Championship this summer in Singapore. Debaters were coached both by their coaches and also by representatives of the National Speech and Debate Association, formerly known as the National Forensic League.

The debate team will also host an inter-league Middle School tournament at the Upper School on Jan. 10.

In total, approximately 400 students have and will be competing at the two tournaments, and all rounds are open for observers.