Fall Success in High School Debate

Danny Stock

Fresh off their second major (virtual) tournament, this article takes a look back at the GDS debate team’s fall success.

Back in mid-September, GDS Debate’s Addie Lowenstein ’22 and Julien Berman ’22 made it to the top 16 at the Greenhill Fall Invitational in Dallas, Texas. At the time, debate head coach Gabe Koo said, “This is pretty impressive given that it is the first major tournament of the year and all top schools around the nation send their best.” The tournament was composed of 91 teams from 17 different states.

By virtue of their results, the pair received their first "bid" to the Tournament of Champions (TOC), the invite-only culminating championships. Bids are awarded for reaching a threshold round a national tournament. Two bids are required to qualify...skip to the end if you can’t stand the suspense!

After the GDS Debate Tournament, an event GDS “hosts” every year over Sports Saturday weekend but does not compete in, the team entered the New York City Invitational. 

First our younger students, for whom the NYC Invitational was the first tournament of the season...

The team of Caroline Garland ’24 and Ila Dohrmann ’24 had their first tournament and went undefeated amongst first year debaters and ended with a record of 3-0.

The team of Mark Orr ’24 and Ike Song ’24 finished 6th and 7th overall among the best speakers in the junior varsity division.

The team of Milo Borek ’23 and Darwin Gu ’24 made it to the quarterfinals of the junior varsity division.

Next, to our veteran Varsity debaters...

The team of Sophie Bronner ’23 and Griffin Brown ’23 made it to the octofinals (sweet sixteen) of the Varsity division. They fought hard and were the only team in octofinals to lose by a split decision as opposed to a unanimous one. Griffin was the 9th overall best speaker and Sophie was the 6th overall best speaker.

Addie said, “This weekend I was super proud of Sophie for getting sixth speaker and for her and Griffin to make it to the elimination rounds in Varsity for the first time!”

​​​​​​​Finally, Addie and Julien returned on their hunt for a second bid for the TOC. Once ago they demonstrated that they are a formidable team and made it to the semifinals of the Varsity division. Due to this spectacular performance, Addie and Julien received their second "bid" and are fully qualified to attend the TOC in April! Addie was also the 10th best speaker of the division. Congratulations!

​​​​​​​“Julien and I are really excited for the TOC this year!” Addie said. “We are hoping it will be in person for the first time in two years. To prepare, we’ll have to start writing a lot of new arguments and do practice speeches and practice debates. We will also focus specifically on the teams that have beaten us this year and strategize for how to beat them at the TOC.”

Julien added, "We know from last year that the competition is incredibly tough, so we are working many hours per week to refine and develop arguments and counter-arguments in order to make it to the final elimination rounds."

Director of debate jon sharp said, "Senior Co-Captains Addie and Julien showed outstanding leadership, not only reaching the semifinals of the tournament themselves but stewarding the younger debaters to an outstanding performance for the entire squad."