Debate takes first and second place in section tournament


Submitted Photo used with permission from Tom Fones

Debate team competitors pose for a photo after awards. Pictured are seniors Liza Bukingolts, Navodhya Samarakoon and Maya Smith, sophomore Adnan Askari, and juniors Sarah Wheaton, Shefali Bijwadia and Raffi Toghramadjian.

Public forum debaters “had a phenomenal section tournament,” according to Director of Debate Tom Fones, at this weekend’s section competition. Juniors Shefali Bijwadia, Raffi Toghramadjian, and Sarah Wheaton, along with sophomore Adnan Askari finished with a combined record of 12-0 to take 1st and 2nd place in the section.

Senior Maya Smith qualified for state in Lincoln Douglas debate and senior Nadia Goldman qualified for the state tournament in policy debate, giving SPA at least one contestant in each of the three divisions at the MSHSL tournament.

The state debate tournament will take place Jan. 15-16 at the University of Minnesota.  It is the oldest state tournament in Minnesota, dating back to 1902.  Most recently, SPA won the tournament in 2013 and 2015 in public forum debate.