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Apple Valley High School junior Kenan Anderson won the state championship in Lincoln-Douglas debate and 11 other District 196 students made it to the final rounds of the state debate tournament Jan. 13-14 at the University of Minnesota.

Anderson advanced out of the preliminary rounds of competition and defeated students from Edina and Cooper high schools by scores of 2-1 and 4-1 in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds. In the championship match, Anderson earned a 7-0 win over the runner-up from Visitation School. Apple Valley senior John Boals advanced to the semifinal round in Lincoln-Douglas before losing. This year’s Lincoln-Douglas resolution was, “Resolved: Public colleges and universities in the United States ought not restrict any constitutionally protected speech.”

In policy debate, the Eagan High School team of Madeleine Roberts and Brandon Wilary defeated Eagan classmates Elizabeth Sabel and Linnea Stanton in the quarterfinal round to advance to the semifinals, where they were defeated by the eventual state champions from Edina. This year’s policy resolution was, “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, the Eastview High School teams of Ross Abram and Osman Mansur, and Dante Fornizy and Suhail Rizvi advanced to the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, respectively, before they were both defeated by the eventual state champions from St. Paul Academy. The Eagan team of Raj Purohit and Rylee Smith also advanced to the quarterfinal round in public forum debate before they were defeated. This year’s public forum resolution was, “Resolved: In order to better respond to international conflicts, the United States should significantly increase its military spending.”

A total of 21 District 196 students qualified for the state debate tournament at the Section 3 tournament and 12 advanced to the final rounds of competition at state. Zach Prax, an assistant coach for Eastview, was named Coach of the Year by the Minnesota Debate Teachers Association. The annual award recognizes coaches for their work in developing well-balanced debate programs at their schools and admirable qualities in the students who participate in debate.

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

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