Click here for the novice practice and tournament schedule. Remember, everyone is welcome to compete on the novice debate squad, however attendance at Wednesday practices and the 1-day league tournaments is mandatory.
Parents and Guardians, you can access the document here.
O’Dowd Debate’s Public Forum debaters Lola Deibert ’21 and Evian Jiang ’20 turned in a superb performance in advancing to the quarterfinal round at last weekend’s Santa Clara University Spring Invitational. The recently paired duo competed in an exceptionally strong 50-team varsity field and alternated between affirmative and negative each round on the March Public Forum topic “The United States should promote the development of market rate housing in urban neighborhoods.”
Lola and Evian defeated Saratoga, Leland, Mountain View, and Lynbrook high schools on their way to a 4-1 prelim record and the tournament’s #6 seed. In the 16-team single-elimination rounds, Lola and Evian bested Amador Valley High School on a 3-0 ballot in the octafinal round before dropping on a 2-1 split ballot to Lynbrook High School in quarters. Evian was ranked the tournament’s #12 individual debater in a field of 100, while Lola was ranked #18.
Meade Jacobsen ’20 and Milo Kuiper Rauch ’20 also put in a strong performance in Public Forum Debate. The pair, debating together only for the second time in the Public Forum format, put together a 3-2 winning record, just missing the cut to elimination rounds.
In Parliamentary Debate, Lucy Barretto ’21 and Connor Whitehill ’20, debating together for the first time and competing in a 100-team field, wrapped up their prelim round run with a 3-2 record and the #22 seed, but dropped in the double-octafinal round to Campolindo High School. In the novice Parliamentary Debate division, Sylvie Richards ’22 and Vashe Sundar ’21 turned in a terrific performance in compiling a 4-1 prelim round record in a 50-team field and securing the #4 seed. Sylvie and Vashe defeated Irvington High School in the octafinal round before dropping to a second Irvington team in quarters. Vashe was the division’s #8 ranked individual debater in a field of 100 with Sylvie ending the tournament ranked #10.
The O’Dowd Parliamentary Debate duo of Sofia Odeste ’19 and Adam Stone ’20 concluded 14 hours of debate on March 2 at James Logan High School by qualifying for the California High School Championship Tournament to be held in May at CSU Long Beach. Adam and Sofia finished the four preliminary rounds with a 3-1 record and defeated Lowell High School in the tournament’s elimination round to advance. Alden O’Rafferty ’19 and Connor Whitehill ’20 finished the Parli prelims with a 3-1 record, but dropped in the elimination. Alden and Connor will be alternates to the state tournament.
Alden O’Rafferty, ’19 & Connor Whitehill, ’20.
The Bishop O’Dowd parliamentary debate duo of Alden O’Rafferty & Connor Whitehill put in a terrific semifinal run last weekend at the 2019 Stanford Debate Invitational, one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious speech and debate tournaments. Alden & Connor, competing in a varsity field of 122 teams drawn from around the nation, finished the preliminary rounds with a 5-1 record and received a bye into the tournament’s double-octofinal elimination round. In elims, Alden & Connor defeated the Nueva School in doubles, Menlo-Atherton High School in octos, and Global Prep Academy in the quarterfinal round. Alden & Connor’s run however would end in semis, dropping to Menlo-Atherton after affirming “California should repeal the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act.” Alden also finished the tournament individually ranked #8 out of the 244 varsity parliamentary debaters. Alden & Connor are currently ranked #6 in the National Parliamentary Debate League national rankings.
In addition to Alden & Connor, several other O’Dowd teams advanced to elimination rounds. The varsity parliamentary pairing of Meade Jacobsen, ’20 & Milo Kuiper Rauch, ’20 complete prelims with a 4-2 record and defeated Archbishop Mitty in the partial triple-octofinal round before falling to a second Mitty team in doubles. In JV Parliamentary Debate two teams advanced to elimination rounds. Debating in a field of 117 teams, Cordelia Kuiper Rauch, ’22 & Will Lecocq, ’22 ended prelims with a 3-2 record but dropped to Claremont High School in double-octos. Kayly Kassab, ’22 & Max Wilcoxson, ’21 tallied a 4-1 record in prelims and dropped Oaks Christian High School in doubles before dropping to Washington High School in octos.
O’Dowd Debate will be seeing its next action in two weeks at the Golden Gate Speech Association state qualifying tournament.
Connor Whitehill ’20 and Alden O’Rafferty ’19 take second place at the UC Berkeley Parliamentary Debate Invitational
O’Dowd debaters Alden O’Rafferty ’19 and Connor Whitehill ’20 took second place at the UC Berkeley Parliamentary Debate Invitational, held October 6-7, sponsored by the Debate Society of Berkeley. Alden and Connor, competing in a field of 63 teams, battled some ups and down and finished prelims with a 3-2 record that qualified the duo for Sunday’s elimination rounds. In elims, Alden and Connor defeated Hillview in double-octofinals and Evergreen Valley in octofinals before being matched against O’Dowd teammates Lucy Barretto ’21 and Lola Deibert ’21 in quarters. Tournament rules do not allow teams from the same school to face off, so coach David “Bear” Saulet selected O’Rafferty & Whitehill to walkover Barretto & Deibert to sems. Alden and Connor took down Menlo-Atherton in the semifinal round before falling to Campolindo in the tournament’s championship round.
The aforementioned Baretto & Deibert had a fantastic performance at Cal, racking up a 4-1 preliminary record and receiving a bye to the octofinal round where the sophomore duo bounced Irvington from the tournament before stepping aside in the quarterfinal round. Sofia Odeste ’19 and Adam Stone ’20 dropped their first two rounds but scored victories in their final three debates to qualify for elims. Odeste & Stone bested Berkeley in doubles and Menlo-Atheron in octos before dropping on a 2-1 to Menlo-Atherton in quarters.
O’Dowd’s novice pair of Sylvie Richards ’22 and Vivan Singhal ’21, competing in a field of 29 teams, compiled an excellent 3-1 preliminary record but dropped to Washington High School on a 2-1 in their quarterfinal match.
O’Dowd will see its next debate action this upcoming weekend at Cal State Fullerton.
Claudia Hester ’18 has earned the National Speech & Debate Association’s Academic All American award, which recognizes academic rigor, competitive speech and debate success and personal excellence.
Fewer than 500 of the more than 141,000 student members of the National Speech & Debate Association earn this award every year – placing Hester in the top half of one-percent of all student members across the country.
The award recognizes students who have completed at least five semesters of high school; earned the degree of Superior Distinction in the association’s Honor Society by earning merit points through competition and service activities; achieved rigorous criteria for GPA and/or test score requirements; and demonstrated outstanding character and leadership.
“I’m honored to receive this award. Debate has meant so much to me,” Hester said.
Aside from the educational benefits of participating in speech and debate, which includes becoming a more accomplished public speaker, one of the things Hester enjoys most about this extra-curricular activity is that it allows her to learn more about the world and engage in civil discourse. “As a young person, knowing about and understanding current events is so important,” she said.