Debaters Place in Stanford Tournament

The Stanford Debate Invitational Tournament began on Friday, February 8, and lasted till Sunday, February 10, beginning in the Stanford Campus for the first rounds, and eventually moving to the Santa Clara Marriott Hotel for the final rounds. Students from as far away as China came to participate in this prestigious tournament.

Several students from LAHS competed. Senior Salim Damerdji competed in single-person Lincoln Douglas style debates, while seniors Lillian Zhou and Riyana Basu, juniors Ben Gardener Gil and Ashwin Vaidyanathan, and juniors Sitara Sriram and Amelia Baum competed in the two-person Public Forum debate.

By proceeding to the quarterfinals of the tournament, Salim Damerdji was able to win his second bid to the Tournament of Champions. After having won his first bid at the Golden Desert Tournament in Nevada, Salim is now part of a small group of MVLA debaters to have been given the opportunity to compete in the Tournament of Champions at the University of Kentucky.

Ashwin and his partner Ben advanced to the triple octofinals round in Public Forum debate and ended with a win loss ratio of 4-2. Although the pair did not advance to the finals, Ashwin was selected out of the 306 Public Forum debaters at the tournament as the top speaker, meaning that he individually earned the most speaking points out of all students who competed in Public Forum.

“What differentiates [my partner and I] from the [other] competitors [was] that we [were] very clear in our arguments and [could] adapt to any judge,” Ashwin said.