The WUDL competitive season continued at Greenbelt Middle School this past weekend, and was our largest tournament ever, featuring 265 students from 35 schools.
To put this season's rapid growth in perspective, 308 students attended at least one WUDL tournament in the 2016-2017 season. We've already had 338 students attend one of our first two tournaments this season. Last season, 96 students competed in at least 15 rounds, surpassing the benchmarks identified by NAUDL research about maximizing the academic benefits of debate. In early November, we already have a half-dozen students who have competed in 15 rounds, and project to have more than 260 reach this goal at the end of the season.
This tremendous growth has been made possible by a surge in volunteer support. We had 90 judges sign up for our November tournament. We're proud to work with returning judges to improve their skills and understanding of the intricacies of debate. Ultimately, better trained and more experienced judges provide better feedback and help our students learn.
This tournament included the season debuts of Phelps High School, Dora Kennedy, Charles Flowers, and EL Haynes, and the initial debuts of Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Fredrick Douglas High School, The SEED School, Washington Leadership Academy, Inspired Teaching, Hardy Middle School, and Wise High School.
As for the results, this tournament was a bit of a coming our party for Paola Almendarez of DC International. Our most experienced debater who hasn't graduated, Paola has won a lot of trophies over the years in all three divisions. This was her first tournament victory, and her first top speaker award in the Varsity Division. Not to be outdone, DCI's Lowenstein and Frone were also undefeated, the only undefeated teams in the Varsity Division. They haven't lost a round locally yet this season.
The tournament was also a big day for Charles Flowers. Smalley and Adepegba took 3rd place overall, winning their first team trophies in the Varsity Division. Gray and Ihejirika (also of Charles Flowers) won the JV Division, and Smalley and Gray took 2nd speaker awards in their respective divisions. I'm always a big fan of competitive parity, and cementing another strong Varsity program can only help the level of competition and learning league-wide.
Capital City's JV teams had a strong day, with both making their case for a promotion to the Varsity Division.
This tournament marked the first awards for two schools--Phelps and Kenmoor. Both schools won Novice speaker awards for the first time, what we hope is the first of many to come!
1st Place: Almendarez and Thompson (DCI/Duke Ellington)
2nd Place: Frone and Lowenstein (DCI)
3rd Place: Adepegba and Smalley (Charles Flowers)
4th Place: Francis and Crouch (Banneker)
5th Place: Sadler and Lawrence (Banneker)
1st: Almendarez (DCI)
2nd: Smalley (Flowers)
3rd: Frone (DCI)
4th: Dupree (DuVal)
5th: Crouch (Banneker)
1st Place: Ihejirika and Gray (Charles Flowers)
2nd Place: Fox (Eastern)
3rd Place: Nguyen and Alicea (Capital City)
4th Place: Paxton and Munsat (Capital City)
5th Place: Sheikh-Issa and Mambo (DuVal)
1st: Nguyen (Capital City)
2nd: Gray (Flowers)
3rd: Rogan (Alice Deal)
4th: Whannou (Greenbelt)
5th: Filmer (Alice Deal)
1st Place: Joire and Weigert (Alice Deal)
2nd Place: Burkhalter and Njoku (DuVal)
3rd Place: Reeves and Wright (Alice Deal)
4th Place: Sesay and Morrissey (Bowie)
5th Place: Carrier and Chamberlain (Alice Deal)
1st: Weigert (Alice Deal)
2nd: Serrano (Kenmoor)
3rd: Jones (Phelps)
4th: Francis (Banneker)
5th: Aboagye (Kettering)