Debate wins second at state


Photo courtesy of Rob Lugiai

Senior captains Vasu Dar and Aman Ravishankar lift the team second place trophy.

Nolan Shen, Staff Writer

Naperville Central’s congressional debate team won second place at the Illinois Congressional Debate Association’s State Championship on Feb. 25.

The team’s second-place finish came as a surprise, according to sophomore Helen Liang.

“We were having doubts about even being able to place,” Liang said. “So getting second was really solid for us. I’m really proud of us.”

Liang was awarded the Quality Speaker award, recognizing her as having the best average speaking score in the whole tournament. Liang won the award after a tiebreaker process.

“It was pretty crazy,” Liang said. “I went to the tournament, I didn’t expect anything. I thought it was pretty fun, I thought I did pretty good, but I didn’t think I would get first or anything, so it was pretty cool.”

The tournament was hosted at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois. It consisted of an invitational division, in which each team sent 10 debaters to compete, and a championship division, in which each team sent their four best debaters to compete. Liang, sophomore CJ Getting and senior captains Vasu Dar and Aman Ravishankar competed in the championship for Central.

“It was a good way for [Ravishankar and Dar] to finish their ICDA careers,” head coach Randy Smith said.

The debate team competes in monthly ICDA tournaments starting in September, with the season ending in February’s state tournament.

“On the whole it’s been a good season,” Smith said. “We’ve had a couple third and fourth place team finishes at the monthly tournaments, but a lot of good individual performances.” 

Ravishankar emphasized how much progress the team has made over the course of the season.

“Overall, I think a lot of our debaters this year improved so much, and I’m really proud that I was able to help them grow and teach them and make them better debaters,” he said.