WUDL Celebrates Qualifiers to Middle School Nationals

The ballots have been collected, the feedback given, and we have chosen our qualifiers for Middle School Nationals!

Stuart Hobson, which has never qualified folks to Middle School Nationals before, led the way this year with two qualifying teams, Zahra/Charlie, and William/Aidan. Zahra/Charlie have been one of the more successful young teams in the nation this year, winning trophies outside the league at the University of Kentucky and Bronx Science tournaments in the Fall, and placing at the Legends of the West Novice Round-Robin this spring. William and Aidan, while they haven't participated in the travel team this year, have been consistent trophy winners in the JV Division locally.

DC International, who often qualifies folks to the Urban Debate National Championship, has qualified their first team to the Middle School National Tournament, 8th graders Madison/Gabriela, who were our runners up last year. They've dipped their toes in regional competition, and have been some of the top performers in the JV Division over the last two seasons.

Capital City's Simone, an Octo-Finalist last year as a 7th grader, is returning to the tournament as an 8th grader, with new partner Kaylin. Simone set her sights on returning to the tournament with a younger, less experienced partner at the beginning of the season, and they succeeded, growing by leaps and bounds through the season.

Oyster Adam's debate program went on hiatus for several years due to the health of their former coach. The team is decidedly back in business this year, with Symon/Gavin qualifying to Middle School Nationals in their first season in debate. While they've never been to an in person tournament, Symon/Gavin have hit the ground running and are determined to re-establish the program at Oyster Adams with new coach Ernest Ntangu, a WUDL Alum now debating at Georgetown University.

Montgomery Village is one of the newest programs in the WUDL, joining the league for two in person tournaments in Jan/Feb 2020 before the pandemic hit. Aadhik was among those attending those tournaments, while partner Asad hasn't been to an in person competition either. The fast-rising team is led by Coach Cesar Fortuna, who led the Greenbelt Middle School team to the Finals + Semi-Finals of MS Nationals in 2019. He's back to his old tricks with his new program, 14 months later, our first (of many) debate program in Montgomery County Public Schools.

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