This past weekend, the Washington Urban Debate League kicked off the 2019-2020 regular season at Cardozo Education Campus. The first tournament of the year is always hectic, with hordes of eager new debaters and new judges figuring out the flow of a tournament.
First of all, a huge shout out to Cardozo EC. Cardozo is a beautiful school, and might have the best views in the city. Thank you for hosting!
The WUDL debuted its Rookie Division at this tournament. Designed for middle school students in their first three tournaments, the division should provide more structure and support for our youngest debaters.
This tournament, we also offered a workshop for all novice and rookie debaters. This was designed to help everyone get up to speed and prepared for their debates, especially for first time debaters.
Several schools stood out and had great starts to the year.
Inspired Teaching had a big weekend, announcing themselves as one of the teams to beat this year, winning multiple trophies in Rookie, Novice, and JV. ITS has often won a trophy here or there, but has never entered more than 2 teams before (they entered 8), and has never been so successful. David Sipos and Samanthan Perkins took 3rd overall in the JV Division, while Cameron Durant and Basil Mann were the top two speakers, and took 5th place in Novice.
Capital City also had a great first tournament, winning trophies in every division they entered, including Varsity. Joey Villaflor and Liv Birnstad (in her first tournament ever), finished 4th in the JV Division, and Jener Balk and Akesh Malia finished 5th.
DC Prep had their most successful tournament in several years, taking home trophies in Rookie, Novice, and JV as well! Last year's Novice Champion Dylan Denney had a strong JV debut, finishing 9th overall.
Stuart Hobson also had a great return to the trophy hunt, winning trophies in Novice. Tatum Primus and Nicholas Vazquez, only confirmed as partners around 8:30 AM, took home a trophy, as did Zahira Dinkins, the top speaker at the Ornstein Summer Debate Institute's Novice Division.
DC International's Paola Almendarez and Lola Rogin went undefeated, winning the Varsity Division. Beyond their top team, however, DCI also took home trophies in JV and Novice. Madison McCauley and Gabriela Sousa, in their first JV tournament (both attended the summer debate institute), took 8th place, and finished as the 2nd and 3rd overall speakers.
We're really excited to see the return and growth of so many programs. Next tournament, Nov. 2nd at Columbia Heights, promises to be even bigger and better as more teams are prepared enough to enter.