Debate team wins big at state tournament

NCSSM’s debate team at the 2016 State Tournament.

NCSSM’s debate team won big at last weekend’s state tournament in Charlotte. Eight members of the team attended the competition all ended the tournament with winning records, finishing within the top 20 of their respective events.

The Tarheel Forensic League State Tournament was held at the Charlotte Latin School, with 21 schools represented and more than 200 student competitors from across North Carolina.

“It was a fantastic showing for NCSSM,” says Tejal Patwardhan ’16, team captain. Patwardhan was the tournament champion, finishing first in the state in the Varsity Lincoln-Douglas Debate. Cory You ’17 and Elizabeth Yang ’17 were quarterfinalists in the same event, with Stella Wang ’17 also finishing strong, just one point shy of the elimination rounds.

Nick Kuzma ’17 and Nimisha Pant ’17 were quarterfinalists in their event, the Public Forum partner event. Strong showings also came from Kendra Zhong ’17 and Saigopala Reddy ’17 in the individual Congressional Debate event.

Logan Parke is head coach for the team. “I cannot stress enough how much of a pleasure it has been to work with these students,” says Parke. “This past weekend was a huge success for the team and I could not be more proud of them.”

This follows a year of top finishes from the team. The students did especially well at two national debate tournaments held in North Carolina, including the Wake Forest National Early Bird competition in September and the Laird Lewis National Invitational in January, where they took home the championships. Patwardhan was cochampion of the event, qualifying her for the 2016 National Tournament of Champions, to be held at the University of Kentucky beginning April 30. 

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