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ROSEMOUNT, Minn. – Twenty-one students from District 196 high schools had top finishes at the Section 3 debate tournament Jan. 5-6 and qualified to compete at the state debate tournament Jan. 12-13 at the University of Minnesota.

In Lincoln-Douglas debate, District 196 students captured three of the six state qualifying spots: Kenan Anderson of Apple Valley High School was runner-up, Cori Roberts of Apple Valley finished third and Marguerite Laplant of Eagan High School was fifth. This year’s Lincoln-Douglas resolution is, “Resolved: Plea bargaining ought to be abolished in the United States criminal justice system.”

In policy debate, District 196 students won four of five state qualifying spots: Charles Huang and Michael Stefanko of Rosemount High School were section champions; Aaron Lutz and Elizabeth Sabel of Eagan were runners-up; Logan Hathaway and Jack Sewpersaud of Rosemount finished third, and John Krueger and Frederic Shih of Eagan took fourth place. This year’s policy resolution is, “Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its funding and/or regulation of elementary and/or secondary education in the United States.”

In public forum debate, District 196 students took four of the six qualifying spots, including section champions Ayush Patel and Jason Scheller of Eagan, runners-up Nibraas Khan and Hunter Weber of Eagan, Abigail Brachio and Zachary Hayes of Apple Valley in third place and Yasmin Afifi and Harika Thota of Eastview High School in fourth place. This year’s public forum resolution is, Resolved: Spain should grant Catalonia its independence.

This year, the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) added congressional debate to the state tournament. The Section 3 qualifying event was held Dec. 1-2 at Eagan High School. District 196 students qualified for two spots in the state tournament, including section champion Nautica Flowers of Eagan and runner-up Emma Zellmer of Eagan. In congressional debate, students debate a variety of legislative bills and resolutions.

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

This will be the 117th annual state debate tournament, the longest-running event of the MSHSL.

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