State debate competitors with trophy and ribbons
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ROSEMOUNT, Minn. – Two District 196 students won championships and 10 others advanced to the final rounds of the state debate tournament Jan. 12 and 13 at the University of Minnesota.

For the second year in a row, Apple Valley High School senior Kenan Anderson won the state title in Lincoln-Douglas debate. Anderson advanced out of the preliminary rounds of competition and defeated students from Minnetonka and St. Croix Prep by scores of 2-1 and 3-2 in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds. In the championship match, Anderson earned a 6-1 win over the runner-up from Robbinsdale Armstrong. Apple Valley senior Cori Roberts advanced to the quarterfinal round in Lincoln-Douglas before losing. This year’s Lincoln-Douglas resolution was, “Resolved: Plea bargaining ought to be abolished in the United States criminal justice system.”

Eagan High School senior Nautica Flowers won the state title in congressional debate in its inaugural year as part of the state tournament. Flowers earned first-place votes from four of the seven judges in the final round of competition to win the title. Eagan senior Emma Zellmer took fifth place in congressional debate, where students debate a variety of legislative bills and resolutions.

In public forum debate, Eagan seniors Nibraas Khan and Hunter Weber advanced to the semifinal round before they were defeated by the state runners-up from Blake. Eagan juniors Ayush Patel and Jason Scheller were quarterfinalists in public forum debate and Apple Valley senior Zachary Hayes and junior Abigail Brachio also advanced to the quarterfinal round. This year’s public forum resolution was, “Resolved: Spain should grant Catalonia its independence.”

In policy debate, Eagan seniors Aaron Lutz and Elizabeth Sabel advanced to the quarterfinal round of competition. This year’s policy resolution was, “Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its funding and/or regulation of elementary and/or secondary education in the United States.”

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.

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

This was the 117th annual State Debate Tournament, the longest-running event of the Minnesota State High School League.

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