In years past, GDS publications have had opportunities to celebrate the excellent debate results of our High School team. This year, while no exception, has provided a new opportunity: highlighting the outstanding results of our developing debaters, already making waves on the Middle School scene.
Thanks to GDS Debate Coach (and High School science teacher) Gabe Koo and assistant coach Sim Low, GDS Middle School students are learning debate during GDS 360 extended-day programming and go on to compete in large regional tournaments. The fact that combined Middle and High School teams are competing together—and successfully!—at major tournaments bodes enormously well for the strength of the program in the future.
Thanks to Gabe for sharing these results:
[The week before Thanksgiving], GDS competed at the Washington Urban Debate League's (WUDL) national tournament, hosted this year in our backyard at Eastern Senior High School.
I'll start off with our younger students: GDS was the CHAMPION of the first-year division.
Please congratulate the team of Ananth ’27 & Eva ’27 who were undefeated 6-0 and didn't drop a single ballot all the way to the championship win.
GDS also made three of the top four slots. The team of Emma Renigar ’26 & John Morsberger ’26 went 5-1 and were semifinalists. The team of Jacob ’27 & William ’27 went 4-2 and were also semifinalists. Jacob and William could have gone for gold but were matched against Ananth and Eva in the semifinals. As is the custom, teams from the same school do not debate each other in order to preserve team mentality. The higher seed "walks over" the lower one into the next elimination rounds.
Jacob was the 2nd overall speaker in the division and Emma was the 5th.
In the varsity division, the teams of Ila Dohrmann ’24 & Michael Dobbs ’25 and Dhilan Desai ’25 & Kevin Xia ’25 both made it to the sweet 16 where they gracefully bowed out.
Previously, some of our debaters competed in Chicago at what is one of the largest speech and debate tournaments of the year. 217 schools from 34 states and over 1,400 individual competitors were at it that weekend.
Some of our freshmen knocked it out of the park in the public forum division. Congrats to the following teams for all being in the top 10 with winning 4-2 records.
Raghav Belle Trichur & Paul Smith
Nate Ridl & Henry Wachs
Alec Donath & Ivy Sand
Raghav & Paul made it to the quarterfinals where they lost to the eventual tournament champions in a close 2-1 decision.
Raghav was the tournament's 7th overall top speaker. Nate was in 9th.
Special shout out to Bobby Bulman ’26 & Grace Khuzami ’26 as well as Theo Foer ’26 & Georgia Kaufman ’26 for notching several wins at their season debut.
In the varsity policy debate division, our junior team of Mark Orr ’24 & Ike Song ’24 had a positive 4-3 record, one win away from making it to the elimination rounds of the tournament.