Debate wins overall in State

Students celebrate and prepare for Nationals


Chris Perez

BEAT ‘EM BUST ‘EM In the media center, Keira Hawk, junior, prepares for her next debate round. “This season has had its high and low with covid. A big part of tournaments was conversing with opponents before and after. Also not being able to see everyone’s reactions to us winning would’ve been nice, but being online allows us to go home early,” Keira said.

For the first time in 27 years, Debate claimed championship at State, with students dominating in each event. In addition to the win at State, the qualification of five members has led the team to tackle Nationals on June 14. 

“I was super excited when Munster got first at State,” Anagha Kodukula, sophomore, said. “I was surprised in the moment, but then I remembered how talented and incredibly capable the Munster Debate team is.”   

Cynthia Chockalingam, senior, came first in congressional debate and Brink Wolak, senior, came in second. These wins﹘along with many other breaks in quarter finals and finals﹘helped Munster win by 18 points. 

Unfortunately, this season has presented many set-backs due to COVID-19. 

“As I am applying to college, I hadn’t taken the SAT and ACT before, so I had a difficult time figuring out which tournaments to miss to take these exams,” Cynthia said. “I also faced technology issues. For example, during my first preliminary round at State, the platform they were using was not working for me from school, so I drove home in the middle of the round and was only able to attend half of that first round.”  

Members have overcome connection problems, not being able to work together in-person and trying to find ways to stay motivated. Fortunately for them, virtual debates allowed wearing pajama pants with their formal shirts, taking naps in-between rounds and pacing the amount of tournaments they participated in.

Chris Perez

“(To stay motivated) I keep in mind that hard work will pay off some time or another,” Ayush Arora, sophomore, said. “I try my best at every tournament and willingly tell myself to get out of bed to write a speech when I may not be feeling completely up to it. My dad gets donuts for tournament days too, so that’s nice.”

With their hard work paying off, Debate members can look back at their achievements with pride. 

“I’m most proud of my event’s performance at State,” Arman Kumar, junior, said. “We were able to achieve a great ranking after not doing too well at about every meet leading up to it.”