Debate attends first overnight tournament of season

McKayla Clark Snodgrass, Page Editor

The Manhattan High Debate team attended their first overnight tournament in over a year at the Blue Valley North Invitational.

“I think [the tournament] was a good mix between debating and just kind of bonding with the team,” freshman Ethan Xin said.

Senior Sam DeLong and junior Anarchy Jung were Quarterfinalists, going 4-3 in the Varsity Division. Sophomores Helinna Bontrager and Anvesha Sharda went 3-2 in the Junior Varsity Division.

Freshman Salina Wang and sophomore Kate Ward placed first in the J.V. Division. The tournament allowed the team to have more free time than in prior tournaments.

“I kind of got to know my partner,” Ward said. “[Wang] and I didn’t know each other that well prior to this tournament so we talked for two hours on Friday and just got to know each other.”

The pair shared a room at the tournament along with one other member of the team.

“It was hard to go to sleep in that hotel,” Ward said. “We were at the end of a hallway and there was this door and you could hear everything and trains, there [was] a lot of train sounds.”

Sophomores Allina Dougherty and Jordyn West placed third in the J.V. Division. The pair had been hearing that the tournament was competitive.

“I was like shaking in my boots when I got there,” Dougherty said. 

Blue Valley school district is the number one debate nation in the country, qualifying more people to the national final rounds than any other district. Despite the initial fear of the intensity of the competition, Dougherty and West placed.

“Me and my partner and the rest of the team were able to perform really well,” Dougherty said. “And so…we had a phrase, it was like ‘at Blue Valley North, oh my god,’ just because we did really well.”

Sophomore Allie Cloyd and freshman Mian Zhao placed first in the Novice Division. Freshmen Kylie Kim and Patrick Fu went 3-2. Junior Elizabeth Bahlmann and sophomore Jaxon Carey went 3-2.

Freshman Markus Hoehn and Xin placed eighth in the Novice Division. 

“I told myself I would challenge myself and even if I didn’t do good, it would be like a learning experience,” Xin said. “…then on Saturday or like the debate tournament day, I didn’t really feel any of that pressure.”

The pair had some slight technical issues in their round that they handled.

“During [a] debate round, somehow [Hoehn]’s laptop died ,” Xin said, “and then he was like recapping all of his cards and then we had like the smoothest transition where I just slipped my laptop over and he just continued like nothing happened.”