Upper school debaters compete at Heart of Texas Invitational


Courtesy of Greg Achten

Andy Lee (9) and Maddie Huynh (10) pose with their Sophomore Hoedown awards from the Heart of Texas Invitational. Maddie was awarded third speaker and Andy was awarded fifth speaker out of all the competitors in the Hoedown.

by Anmol Velagapudi, Reporter

Eight members of the upper school speech and debate team competed in the Heart of Texas Invitational at St. Mark’s School from Oct. 14 to 16.

Alan Hughes (12), Jacob Ohana (12), Megan Huynh (12) and Anusha Kuppahally (11) competed in the varsity policy division, while Jai Bahri (10), Maddie Huynh (10), Andy Lee (9) and Jason Lin (9) competed in the Sophomore Hoedown. Megan and Anusha’s team went 3-3 in the pre-elimination rounds, but did not advance into the elimination rounds. Maddie and Andy’s team advanced to the finals of the Hoedown and finished in second place against a team from the Montgomery Bell Academy. Maddie was awarded third speaker and Andy was awarded fifth speaker out of all the competitors in the Hoedown.

“The tournament was run really well,” Jason said. “ The food was great, and most importantly, there were free debate timers.”

Team Jacob and Alan advanced to the octofinals after winning four out of six preliminary rounds, ending their run at the tournament against a team from Montgomery Bell Academy. As a result of their finish at the event, Jacob and Alan earned a bid to the Tournament of Champions (TOC).

The TOC takes place in April at the University of Kentucky. Every year, the TOC committee provides a listing of tournaments where students can earn bids at to qualify for the TOC. For the Heart of Texas Invitational, debaters could have earned a bid if they advanced into the octofinals in either Lincoln-Douglas or policy debate. Debaters who earn two bids before the TOC will be eligible to compete at the event.

The speech and debate teams will be competing in two local tournaments at Milpitas High School and Gunn High School before traveling to Gainesville, Florida for the Florida Blue Key Speech and Debate Tournament from Oct. 27 to 29.