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O’Dowd Debate Takes Second at Vassar College Invitational

<img class="wp-image-7726 size-medium lazyload" src="" alt="fullsizeoutput_335d" width="300" height="179" srcset=" 300w, 768w, 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /> The four finalists: Regis Majsak & Woutas and O’Dowd Hester & Yau-Weeks.

O’Dowd Debate turned in a superb performance at the November 5 Vassar College Invitational in Poughkeepsie, New York with the tournament collapsing a two-day tournament into a single, grueling day of debate. The tournament featured only parliamentary debate and attracted teams from across the Northeast. O’Dowd entered two teams into the 42-team varsity field: Claudia Hester ’18 & Sophia Yau-Weeks ’17 and Sanah Basrai ’18 & Alden O’Rafferty ’19.

<img class="wp-image-7721 size-medium lazyload" src="" alt="fullsizeoutput_3321" width="300" height="225" srcset=" 300w, 768w, 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /> Claudia, Alden, Sophia, and Sanah on the Vassar campus.

Hester & Yau-Weeks picked up from their championship performance at University of the Pacific. The pair ran the table in preliminary rounds with wins over Stuyvesant High School, Engineering & Science University Magnet School, Horace Mann School, and Ridgefield High School. Hester & Yau Weeks held the top seed heading into elimination rounds and defeated Half Hollow Hills High School and Ridgefield High School before dropping on a 2-1 split to Regis High School in finals. Claudia received the tournament’s top debater award for the best individual performance, coming out on top of 84 debaters. Sophia finished as the tournament’s #2 individual debater. Hester & Yau-Weeks are currently 15-1 this debate season and are ranked #2 nationally.

<img class="wp-image-7723 size-medium lazyload" src="" alt="Ms. Guilfoy, Alden, Claudia, Sanah, and Sophia after a late-night Saturday dinner at Poughkeepsie restaurant Artist's Palate." width="300" height="182" srcset=" 300w, 768w, 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" /> Ms. Guilfoy with the crew after a late-night Saturday dinner at the Artist’s Palate.

Basrai & O’Rafferty also turned in a strong performance. The duo picked up wins over Westfield High School, Hillside Academy, Half Hollow Hills High School, and Regis High School and held the #2 seed heading into elims. Basrai & O’Rafferty defeated Half Hollow Hills in quarters before dropping to Regis High School in semis.

O’Dowd Debate will see action this upcoming weekend at the National Parliamentary Debate Invitational at UC Berkeley.

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