Two Central sophomores compete at national debate tournament, earn ‘bids’


Photo Courtesy of Aryan Pradhan

Sophomore Aryan Pradhan placed 10th at Sunvite, a national debate tournament hosted in Davie, Fla. Pradhan competed in Congressional Debate alongside fellow sophomore Helen Liang.

Jay Deegan, Editorial Editor

Two Naperville Central sophomores recently participated in Sunvite, a national debate tournament held at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Fla. 

Aryan Pradhan and Helen Liang competed in Congressional Debate against 116 other high schoolers. Pradhan qualified for the tournament’s finals, and placed 10th. Liang advanced to the semifinals where she was eliminated.

“It motivates me a lot because knowing that I can get a bid and on top of that, make it to the finals at a major national tournament really gives me a lot of motivation that I can actually do well and perform well at a national level,” Pradhan said.

Pradhan and Liang earned Tournament of Champions bids at Sunvite. Two bids are required for a debater to participate in the tournament, held at the University of Kentucky and featuring some of the best debaters in the country. 

This was Liang’s second bid, after she earned one at the Glenbrooks Speech and Debate Tournament in Nov. 

Both students are members of Central’s debate team.

“[Central’s] team is really good because it’s just a really good way to get debate practice in,” Liang said. “We meet every Wednesday and we always have some kind of debate themed drill. So even if it’s not too intense, it’s just good speaking practice every week.”

Pradhan placed 10th out of 16 debaters in the final round of the tournament.

“We did not have a lot of time to prep, which is why it was really hectic, but I think personally for me in the final round I was able to deliver the speech very well,” Pradhan said. “I was really proud of that.”