District 196 students qualify for State Debate Tournament

Nineteen District 196 high school students had top finishes at the Section 3 debate tournament Jan. 10-11 and qualified to compete at the State Debate Tournament, which will be held Jan. 17-18 at the University of Minnesota.

District 196 students captured five of the six qualifying spots in Lincoln-Douglas debate. Nurry Goren of Eagan High School finished first in Lincoln-Douglas debate, followed by Maddy Ober of Apple Valley High School, Ryan Lowder of Eagan, Grace Hoffa of Apple Valley and Alekhya Tallapaka of Rosemount High School, who finished fifth. This year’s Lincoln-Douglas resolution is, “Resolved: Developing countries should prioritize environmental protection over resource extraction when the two are in conflict.”

In policy debate, Eagan students took two of the five state-qualifying spots, with Kathryn Bulanek and Charlie Seidel finishing in second place and Collin Amundson and Matthew Erickson in fourth. In policy debate, each two-student team defends both sides of a selected topic during the tournament. This year’s policy resolution is, “Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its economic engagement toward Cuba, Mexico or Venezuela.”

In public forum debate, five of the six qualifying spots went to District 196 students, including section champions Ryan Mather and Mikhil Venkatasubramanian of Eastview High School, followed by Anum Ahmed and Anant Naik of Eastview in second place, Mollie Clark and Alexandra Rosati of Eagan in third, Aekta Mouli and Leah Dunlevy of Eagan in fourth, and Andrea Aguilar and Chaz Elliot of Apple Valley in sixth place. This year’s public forum resolution is, “Resolved: Development assistance should be prioritized over military aid in the Sahel region of Africa.”

The head coaches for debate in District 196 are Chris Theis of Apple Valley, Chris McDonald of Eagan, Todd Hering of Eastview and Cort Sylvester of Rosemount.

This will be the 113th annual State Debate Tournament, the longest-running event of the Minnesota State High School League.