Debaters succeed at national tournament

By Celine Park ’20
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Debaters pose with the plaques they won and a flight attendant before their flight returning home. Credit: Uploaded with permission of Shania Hunt 

The school’s team of Lincoln Douglas debaters won the Novice National Debate Tournament that took place in Atlanta from March 16 to 19. The team competed against first-year debaters from schools all over the country. Students assessed whether public colleges and universities in the United States ought not restrict any constitutionally protected speech. Eight out of the 14 total cleared debaters who advanced to partial octa-finals were from Harvard-Westlake.

The students’ schedules for the three days in Atlanta consisted of practice debates and two official rounds on March 17.

The debaters participated in the four remaining rounds the next day, and students who advanced to the top 14 proceeded to compete on Sunday. On the same evening, the team flew back to Los Angeles.

“It was a really great experience. During the trip we all got to eat hamburgers and milkshakes, and that was super fun.  This was also a nice time to bond with the ninth graders on the team, who make debate more enjoyable. And they’re really good mentors,” semifinal qualifier Allie Landecker ’21 said.

Jonathan Cosgrove ‘21, who won first place at the tournament, explained how he prepared for his rounds.

“One of the positive things that arose during my rounds

was being well prepared.  It was like studying really hard for a test and then knowing everything on it. I would like to thank all of my teammates and coaches who made it possible for me to do debate this past year,” Cosgrove said.

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