2nd Annual Urban Debate Dragon Invitational A Big Success

This past weekend, the Washington Urban Debate League hosted two(!) tournaments.

  • The WUDL Thanksgiving Throwdown for our Novice and JV debaters, our usual monthly tournament

  • The 2nd Annual Urban Debate Dragon Invitational, a national tournament that serves as a qualifier to the Tournament of Champions, High School Debate's most rigorous national competition.

Phelps prepared their whole classroom for the tournament, projecting the other team on the wall, and ordering pizza to stay fueled for the day

The Dragon, named for the mascot of our hopefully next year hosts, DC International, brought together debaters from across the nation, including as far away as California and Arizona, as well as a number of Urban Debate Leagues. We were excited to welcome Cass Technical from the Detroit UDL as new participants who didn't attend last year. Our goal is to host the most accessible and UDL student friendly national circuit tournament, and per the feedback we've gotten, we've succeeded. That means keeping the fees low or non-existent, the judges strong and welcoming, and once we get back in person, focusing on community.

In Novice: Lexington ran the table, taking the first three places and the top five speaker awards, with our neighbors, Georgetown Day School finishing in 4th place.

In JV: Leon Goldstein, a UDL team from New York, won the Division, defeating Mamaroneck (NY) in the finals. WUDL's own Basis DC (O'Sullivan and Durand) finished as Semi-Finalists in their first regional tournament ever, and Baltimore City (a UDL team) were also Semi-Finalists. The Quarter-Finalists were Success Academy and a different Leon Goldstein team (NY), and WUDL's own Basis DC (Pierce and Seth), and Banneker (Bowman and McCauley). Pierce, Seth, and Bowman were all participating in their first regional competitions, and Madison is a freshman. We're so excited to see these emerging leaders get some hardware at a regional tournament like this.

WUDL also brought home a lot of speaker awards:

7th: O'Sullivan

8th: Durand

9th: Pierce

10th: Seth

11th: McCauley

15th: Bowman

16th: Howard (Phelps)

We are also very proud of Fredrick Douglas and Phelps, who made their regional tournament debuts, and Stuart Hobson, (these debaters were new to regional competition, even though the school isn't).

Fredrick Douglas's Atounah and Banjo were the best team that didn't advance to elimination rounds, with Feldman/Dinkins of Stuart Hobson right behind them with 3 wins.

In Varsity: We awarded bids to the Tournament of Champions to Truman High School (Independence, Missouri, our tournament champions) and to Lexington High School (MA). They defeated Georgetown Day and Lexington to get there, with teams from Lexington (MA), Canyon Crest (AZ), Kickapoo, Truman (MO), Goldstein, Stuyvesant (NY), and Bravo (CA, LAMDL) in elimination rounds. DuVal's Ramlal (WUDL) set a new league record for the best Speaker Award any of our debaters have ever won in a regional Varsity Division (6th Place)

I want to take a moment to appreciate our volunteers. We could not have done this without you, full stop. In no particular order: Alan Coverstone, Andrew Arsht, Danielle Dupree, Darrian Carroll, Dennis Martinez, Eric Clarke, Guillermo Vidaurre, Jess Berenson, Jonathan Gonzalez, Jonathan Rauch, Marc Goldman, McAlister Clabaugh, Myles Caliguire, Nate Salminen, and Renee Fuentes. You rock.

At the Thanksgiving Throwdown, we had plenty of highlights as well.

In JV: CMIT made their debut, and dominated the JV division. They are ready for Varsity. Ayitey-Adjin/Wray took 1st place, while Sobowale/Kelly were in 2nd, losing only to their teammates. They were also 3 of the top 4 speakers.

DuVal had a strong showing, with students winning awards in multiple divisions. Ozor/Tsanang finished 3rd while Aizojie/Castro finished 5th. Ozor was the 3rd overall speaker. In Novice, Kanu/Teferi went undefeated, while Gam/Abiol finished 4th, and Shaw/Delehant finished 7th.

Banneker also took home lots of awards, with DeGruy/Azoroh finishing 4th in JV, while Paris/Shabazz finished 5th and Yusuf/Bell finished 6th in Novice. All four won top-10 speaker awards as well.

Debating alone, Douglas's Adejumo finished 3rd in Novice and won a speaker award, while Deal's Wallsten was 2nd Speaker and 2nd Team.

Basis DC's Boehm/Greaves (2nd), Choi/Ondrejak (4th), and Van Den Broeck/Floyd (8th) all won trophies in Rookie, while Greaves, Boehm, Choi, and Ondrejak all won speaker awards.

Montgomery Village's Badou was 2nd Speaker, and with partner Urbina, finished 3rd in Rookie. Elangovan also won trophies in JV.

EL Haynes Gitangu/Tobar Linares was the Rookie champion, while Eddings (5th) and Cavanagh/Padre (6th) also won trophies. Tobar/Linares was the top speaker, while Gitangu, Cavanagh, and Padre also won speaker awards.

A big shout out to our partners at George Washington University's DPE Sorority for volunteering this weekend (and the rest of the year)

We'll see you at the next tournament, December 11th 2021!

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