Debate champs

Raam Tambe, Jerry Wang and Peninsula’s director of debate Scott Wheeler.

Peninsula High School graduates Raam Tambe and Jerry Wang successfully defended their championship title at the National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament in Birmingham, Alabama on June 24. In doing so, the two made history as the first intact, two-person policy team to win the tournament twice, a press release said.

The NSDA national tournament was the first sanctioned national championship, beginning in 1931, and policy debate was originally its only debate event.

The National Speech and Debate Association is the oldest and largest high school speech and debate honor society in the world and its national tournament is the world’s largest interscholastic competition, with over 3,000 students competing in ten speech and debate events, the release said.

Raam and Jerry beat out 354 other students to win this year’s championship (as well as the tens of thousands who failed to qualify for nationals). In the final round, they debated a team from Glenbrook North High School in Illinois. Peninsula proposed a diplomatic hotline between the United States and China, and Glenbrook North argued that the offer would undermine the priorities established in the U.S. and China’s 100 day action plan. Peninsula defeated Glenbrook North on a 10-1 decision. Over a thousand people watched the final round at the Birmingham–Jefferson Convention Complex Concert Hall, and tens of thousands watched the live stream, the release said.

For winning the tournament, the two received the Harland B. Mitchell Trophy, and each received $6,000. Peninsula’s director of debate Scott Wheeler received the Ted W. Belch Award, joining Glenbrook North coach Michael Greenstein as the only coach to win the award twice and becoming the first coach to win the award in consecutive years.

Jerry will attend the University of Southern California on a debate scholarship in the fall and Raam will be debating at Dartmouth.

Peninsula also won the Unger Cup, presented to the school that has placed the highest cumulatively in the five great national debate tournaments, the release said.

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