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Twenty-one students from District 196 high schools had top finishes at the Section 3 debate tournament Jan. 6-7 and qualified to compete at the state debate tournament Jan. 13-14 at the University of Minnesota.

In Lincoln-Douglas debate, District 196 students captured five of the six state qualifying spots: Kenan Anderson of Apple Valley High School was the section champion, John Boals of Apple Valley was runner-up, Benjamin Pankow of Eagan High School finished fourth, Jason Senthil of Rosemount High School was fifth and Marguerite LaPlant of Eagan finished sixth. This year’s Lincoln-Douglas resolution is, “Resolved: Public colleges and universities in the United States ought not restrict any constitutionally protected speech.”

In policy debate, District 196 students won four of five state qualifying spots, including the teams of Madeleine Roberts and Brandon Wilary, and Elizabeth Sabel and Linnea Stanton of Eagan, who finished in second and third place, respectively, and Andrew Sauvageau and Michael Stefanko, and Chelsea Fedorenko and Jack Sewpersaud of Rosemount in fourth and fifth place, respectively. In policy debate, each two-student team defends both sides of a selected topic during the tournament. This year’s policy resolution is, “Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its economic and/or diplomatic engagement with the People’s Republic of China.”

In public forum debate, District 196 students took four of the six qualifying spots in Section 3, including section champions Dante Fornizy and Suhail Rizvi of Eastview High School, runners-up Ross Abram and Osman Mansur of Eastview, Raj Purohit and Rylee Smith of Eagan in third place, and Scott Franklin and Jason Scheller of Eagan in fourth place. This year’s public forum resolution is, “Resolved: In order to better respond to international conflicts, the United States should significantly increase its military spending.”

The head coaches for debate in District 196 are Rick Brundage at Apple Valley, Chris McDonald at Eagan, Todd Hering at Eastview and Cort Sylvester at Rosemount.

This will be the 116th annual State Debate Tournament, the longest-running event of the Minnesota State High School League.

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