Eagan High students Ayush Patel and Jason Scheller won the state championship in public forum debate at last week's state debate tournament.
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ROSEMOUNT, Minn. – Two District 196 students won championships and 10 others advanced to the elimination rounds of the state debate tournament Jan. 18 and 19 at the University of Minnesota.

Eagan High School seniors Ayush Patel and Jason Scheller won the state championship in public forum debate. They defeated a team from Edina in the quarterfinals, then topped Eastview High School senior Harika Thota and junior Nikhil Kapur in the semifinal round to advance to the championship, where they defeated a team from St. Paul Academy and Summit School. Patel and Scheller, who fell in the quarterfinal round of last year’s state tournament, argued the affirmative that the United States should prioritize reducing the federal debt over promoting economic growth. Eastview seniors Siddharth Addagudi and Rohin Alapati advanced to the quarterfinal round in public forum debate.

In congressional debate, Eagan senior Grant Davis finished state runner-up, Eastview sophomore Layla Foster finished in fifth place and Apple Valley High School senior Abby Brachio took sixth place. In congressional debate, students debate a variety of legislative bills and resolutions.

In policy debate, sophomore Anika Jackson and junior Charlie Huang of Rosemount High School advanced to the semifinal round before they were defeated by the state runners-up from Edina. This year’s policy resolution was, “Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce its restrictions on legal immigration to the United States.”

In Lincoln-Douglas debate, Apple Valley High School senior Brandon Schellhaass advanced to the quarterfinals. This year’s Lincoln-Douglas resolution was,“Resolved: The United States ought not to provide military aid to authoritarian regimes.”

A total of 22 District 196 students qualified for and competed at this year’s state debate tournament. This was the 118thannual State Debate Tournament, the longest-running event of the Minnesota State High School League.

The head coaches for debate in District 196 are Scott Voss at Apple Valley, Chris McDonald at Eagan, Todd Hering at Eastview High School andCort Sylvester at Rosemount High School. Sylvester was named the 2019 Minnesota Debate Teachers Association Coach of the Year and Eastview assistant coach Zachary Prax received the 2019 James Graupner Distinguished Service Award from the Minnesota Debate Teachers Association.

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