Speech and debate team off to a successful start

October 15, 2019 — by Anouk Yeh and Harshini Velchamy

The speech and debate team is taking on tough competition and faring well during early-season tournaments.

This past week, the team competed in the Presentation Voices Invitational. The Voices Invitational is a highly prestigious debate tournament that draws many out-of-state competitors.

Senior Ashwin Ramakrishna, who competed at the Voices Invitational, said strong opponents came from places like New York and Minnesota. 

Top SHS competitors included Ramakrishna and senior Siva Sambasivam, who  broke to the quarterfinals round, placing 6th, in varsity public forum, and seniors Adhit Sankaran and Ronak Pai, who broke to top 32 teams in the same event. Senior Ujjwal Krishnamurthi broke to top 64 debaters in Lincoln Douglass. 

In adidtion to the sucess at the tournamnet, the school was able to send a partnership ro rhwThe school was also able to send Sambasivam and Sankaran  Considering the team’s track record of success, their success at Presentation was not an unanticipated one. 

Two weeks earlier, the team traveled to Milpitas to compete at the Stephen Stewart Invitational. There, the team also saw success. 

In speech, Saratoga took three top three placings, with senior Sammy Sullivan placing second in Varsity International Extemporaneous Speaking, sophomore Anouk Yeh placing second in Varsity Program Oral Interpretation and sophomores Joann Zhang and Arnav Shah placing third in Varsity Duo Interpretation. Sophomore Selina Chen and senior Surbhi Bhat both placed fifth in Varsity Dramatic Interpretation and Varsity Program Oral Interpretation respectively. Sophomore Shivali Kattumadam placed seventh in Varsity Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking, while sophomore Vignav Ramesh placed eleventh in Varsity Original Oratory.

The debate team also saw success at Stephen Stewart. Sankaran and Pai placed second in varsity public forum, while Sambasivam and sophomore Ayaan Haque broke to the quarterfinal round. In JV Public Forum, freshmen Stuti Agrawal and Anushka Sankaran broke to semi-finals. 

With their early high level of achievement, Ramakrishna believes that the season has a lot more in store for the team.

“We’ve had a lot of early success in the season, but it seems like the best is yet to come,” he said.

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