Seven members of the US Speech & Debate Team qualified to compete at the National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA) National Tournament in June in Dallas, Texas: Arnold von Engelbrechten '19, Tim Sullivan ‘19, Nehal Chigurupati '20, Anish Ganesh '19, Abraham Paik '21, Nate Mayor '19, and Sukhm Kang '20. National qualifiers were determined at the District Tournament held this past weekend in Cleveland, where, in addition, US Coach Mr. James Lewis ’00 was named Coach of the Year and US won two team awards!
At Districts, for the first time ever, US had four finalists in speech events: Arnold von Engelbrechten won third alternate in International Extemporaneous Speaking. Arnold was also selected by the District committee to be a member of the Northcoast District's World Schools Debate Team at Nationals. Rohit Rakhit ’19 won third alternate in United States Extemporaneous Speaking, and Auryon Azar ’19 won first alternate in Dramatic Interpretation. Tim Sullivan qualified for nationals in Informative Speaking. By doing so well at the NSDA district tournament, Tim also qualified for the state tournament held in March.
In Lincoln-Douglas debate, Nehal Chigurupati won second alternate, but he will be competing at Nationals because two Lincoln-Douglas debaters who placed above him have opted to go to Nationals in World Schools Debate instead of LD.
In Public-Forum debate, US qualified two teams for Nationals, which hadn’t been done since 2016: the team of Anish Ganesh and Abraham Paik, and the team of Nate Mayor and Sukhm Kang. The team of Kiran Krishnamurthi ‘19 and Daniel Yan ’21 were the second alternate team. Kiran and Daniel were paired against Nate and Sukhm in their semifinal round and conceded to their teammates.
University School won two team awards: the NSDA Leading Chapter Award, for achieving the highest number of NSDA points in the last five years, and the Haight-Chunat Debate Award, given to the school that does the best in all debate events at the NSDA District Tournament.
Congratulations to the team and coaches!