Niles West Wins State Championship in Novice Debate
Niles West Debate competed at the Illinois Communication and Theatre Association State Debate Tournament at Dundee Crown High School on March 9 through 10. This is the state competition for Novice and Junior Varsity debate in Illinois. West debaters Miranda Kang and Nathan Anderson won the state championship in the Novice policy debate division.
Kang and Anderson faced 46 teams from across the state in the Novice division. They were 7-3 in preliminary rounds and the fifth seed entering elimination rounds. They defeated Glenbrook North for the championship and were 3-0 in elimination rounds. Gershom Chan and Tahir Meeks were 6-4 in the preliminary rounds but failed to advance to the elimination rounds. Out of 92 debaters, Nathan Anderson was named the fourth speaker. Janat Ahmed, Nick Charles, Lizzie Prete, James McLellan, Alwin Alex, Michelle Sproat, Morgan Gstalter and Walter Lindwall also debated well and had respectable records at the tournament.
In the Junior Varsity division, 31 teams from across the state competed. Theo Noparstak and Jonass Placitis went 4-1 in preliminary rounds and were the third seed entering elimination rounds. In the semifinals they lost on a close 2-1 decision to Glenbrook North. Emma Lazar and Vinay Patel were 4-1 in the preliminary rounds and the fifth seed entering elimination rounds. They lost on a close 2-1 decision to King College Prep in the quarterfinals. Niles West was one of two schools to advance more than one team to elimination rounds in the Junior Varsity division. Out of 62 debaters, Theo Noparstak was fourth speaker, Emma Lazar was sixth speaker, Kris Trivedi was seventh speaker and Jonass Placitis was ninth speaker. Ari Hoffman, Sana Khan, Lia Isono, Jessie Amgalanjargal, Breana Brill, Nashiha Alam, and Alyssa Guzman also competed at the tournament and did well.
Head Debate Coach Eric Oddo said, “We worked extremely hard to reach our goal of winning state. I appreciate all of the hard work from my assistant coaches: Kevin Bancroft, Jeff Buntin, Matt Fahrenbacher and Val McIntosh. I also want to thank former New Trier debater Ted Kontopoulos and former Michigan State debater Eric Lanning for assisting us this weekend.”
Niles West Debate won’t have much time to sit back and enjoy their trophy. Coming up this month is the IHSA Varsity State Debate Tournament in Bloomington, IL, the Novice/Junior Varsity Nationals at Woodward Academy in College Park, GA, and the Midwest Debate Championships in Iowa City, IA. Next month they compete in the National Debate Coaches Association Debate Championships in Las Vegas.