Debate Club Fares Well at State Championships Despite Seeding & Bracketing Errors

dMHS Debate Teamssubmitted by Leslie King and Erica Cooper, Debate Coach

The Kentucky High School Speech League (KHSSL), through the director of the competition and chair of the League, has admitted significant errors in seeding and bracketing during the Kentucky Debate State Championship, Senior Division on March 8-9 in Lexington. The KHHSL Board Chair has apologized and communicated that they are currently seeking legal representation for guidance on the issue and remedy. duPont Manual High School filed the formal grievance after discovering the unexplained errors, including three of our top debaters being unfairly, in error, shut out from competing in the brackets due to a “walkover” situation – Riti Pathak, Mark Raj, and Mihir Kale. All competitors in the divisions of Public Forum and Lincoln Douglas were seeded incorrectly and three of the divisions were bracketed incorrectly.

Despite errors disfavoring our debaters and school points, we do not want to delay further announcing the team and individual “bittersweet” successes at the state championship pending corrected placements and scoring:

School Results

duPont Manual High School – Reserve State Champion School

Novice Public Forum

Naren Chittem/Zain Tariq – Reserve State Champions
Eliza Gallagher/Emmett King – Semifinalists
Naren Chittem – Top Speaker Award
Zain Tariq – 4th Place Speaker Award

Varsity Public Forum

Zabeeb Nuguse/Abey Philip – Semifinalists
Mihir Kale/Mark Raj – Quarterfinalists
Brendan Bultman/Ben Hanson – Quarterfinalists
Mark Raj – Top Speaker Award
Brendan Bultman – 4th Place Speaker Award
Abey Philip – 5th Place Speaker Award

Novice Lincoln Douglas

Pranav Kanmadikar – Quarterfinalist
Shreeya Arora – 4th Place Speaker Award

Varsity Lincoln Douglas

Ria Jain – Reserve State Champion & 2nd Place Speaker Award
Riti Pathak – Quarterfinalist & Top Speaker Award
Nivedha Loganathan – Quarterfinalist


Mikayla Curtis/Madhu Garimella – Reserve State Champions
Mikayla Curtis – 2nd Place Speaker Award

Pictured above: State championship qualifiers; seniors final state championship; debate novice teams & mentors