Sage Ridge Debate: Top Speaker Awards, 34 Ballot Wins in Finals at Spanish Springs Tournament

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Sage Ridge Debate: Top Speaker Awards, 34 Ballot Wins in Finals at Spanish Springs Tournament
John Sloyan

Greetings Debate Fans!

Our Scorpion Debaters had a banner day at the Spanish Springs debate tournament! Out of our team of 12 competitors, eight made finals, and they won 34 ballots—our highest total to date. Even though each event was well populated, we had several third-place and second-place finishes and one Top Speaker Award. Great work, everyone! 

Public Forum Debate

The team of Owen Heaphy '27 and Jensen Wu '27 shocked the world by going a perfect 4-0 in prelims, 3-0 in the semifinal round, and narrowly being defeated by a split 1-2 decision in the final round. Jensen's ballots remarked on his "excellent cross-ex delivery" and on Owen's "strong speaking presence." In addition, Owen came away with the Top Speaker award in novice Public Forum. Wow!

Abi Napoli '26, competing in her first tournament, teamed up with Saatvik Guar '26 and the two made it all the way to the semifinal round and a third-place finish. Judges commented on Saatvik's "clear and persuasive style" and Abi's "strong use of crossfire" during the round. Well done!

Ethan Day '26, without very much preparation, worked with Bryce Stormo '26 and the two did a fantastic job. Ethan finished 3rd overall in speaker points and Bryce won Top Speaker in Senior Public Forum. Excellent work!

Lincoln Douglas Debate

This was a great tournament for Lance Zhou '25, who as a Junior competed in his first debate tournament. Lance surprised everyone (including himself) by going 3-1 in prelims and making it to the semifinal round. One judge pointed to his "professional demeanor" contributing to his win. Nice work!

Dating back to last year, Nanki Sandhu '25 has made it into finals in her past five tournaments, and that is hard to do! She has established herself as a premier debater in the Sagebrush League, and this tournament provided more evidence for her reputation. Nanki finished third in speaking points and was second overall, falling one ballot short in a 1-2 vote in finals. Great job!

Big Question Debate

Big Question Debate is a new event for Sage Ridge debaters, and under the leadership of history teacher Robbie Adler, SRS is making waves in the Sagebrush District. Mallory Cotton '27 went a perfect 4-0 in prelims and was only stopped by her teammate, Raghav Bhalla '27, who also posted a perfect 4-0 record. Mallory's judges were impressed by her "strong knowledge of the subject" and she earned third place. Raghav's ballots have the word "strong" throughout, describing his delivery, cross-ex, and final speeches. In the end, Raghov earned second place in the debate and was one ballot away from taking first. Great job, Mallory & Raghav!

Next up? Reed High School Debate Tournament on Nov. 18. Go Scorpions!