WUDL Winter Classic begins National Qualifiers!

Over MLK weekend, the Washington Urban Debate League hosted the WUDL Winter Classic at Alice Deal Middle School. Despite dire warnings of snow and cancellations, we persevered and the weather was surprisingly pleasant (at least compared to expectations).

This tournament marks the beginning of our national qualifying process for the Urban Debate National Championships, both at the middle and the high school levels. The UDNCs will be held in D.C. again this year, high school at Georgetown University and middle school at Hardy Middle School, a WUDL partner school in Georgetown.

In the High School Qualifying Division:

DuVal's Ernest Ntangu (a qualifier last year) and Jonathan Collins (a runner up last year) paced the HS qualifying division, going undefeated and staking a strong claim to one of the qualifying spots.

DC International's Paola Almendarez and Lola Rogin placed 2nd, putting them in the current lead for the 2nd qualifying spot. Paola has qualified for the UDNC twice before as a middle schooler, but wasn't allowed to attend.

Bowie's Kevin Tezi (qualified last year) and Munyang Tengen placed 3rd. As the hosts of the UDNC, there is a decent chance we get to enter a 3rd team to even the pool.

DuVal's Mak Aneke/Pearl Mambo, and Sania Habib/Danielle Dupree (qualified last year) were also 3-1, giving them an early lead on the rest of the field.

In her Varsity debut, Nellsie Harris (Flowers) was the 5th overall speaker

In the Middle School Qualifying Division:

With 6 spots up for grabs, the following teams took an early lead:


Aisha Bah/Maya Cleveland (undefeated)

Isatou Jawara/Asha Verma


Alexandra Clarke/Christione Johnson

Chloe Mshana and Isabel Ramirez


Juliette Krevat and Philip Sipher

Liam Deluce and Katrina Tracy

Washington Latin's Maxwell Burton/Aaron Smith, and Jackson Lewis/D'Andre Person, Thomas Johnson's Fatimah Shaw/Dayjha Dixon, Njembong Njefe/Kokou Amouzou, and Rahma Abbas/Yasmien Depani, and Stephen Decatur's Jemilatu Bayah/Melat Asnake are all well in the running, just missing the last spot on speaker points.

In JV:

Kenmoor dominated the JV pool, with Settles/Richie and Folorunso/Njoku going undefeated.

Capital City's Dickens/Martinez continued their strong season, taking 3rd, while Decatur's Anwuri/Kanu took 4th, DuVal's Oparaugo/Ramlal 5th, and Northwestern's Martinez/Figoura 6th.

DuVal's Nala Burkhalter was the top speaker, while Northwestern's Merlie Reyes won her first trophy as well.

In Novice:

Washington Latin's Juma Buba was the top speaker, a great accomplishment for the 2nd year 6th grader. DC almost swept the novice speaker awards, with Hardy, DCI (2), Latin (3), Alice Deal, Inspired Teaching, Kenmoor, and Capital City getting at least one each.

Samuel Ogle's Ambe and DuBeau won the Novice Division, their first trophies, and Kettering's Jacob Grigsby went undefeated debating alone!

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