The 4-speaker team of Harun Raffi (Sr.), Ben Voloch (Sr.), Daniel Hechenberger (Jr.), and Iain Moufarrij (Sr.) earned the title of State Champions at the Kansas 3-2-1A 4-Speaker Debate Tournament on Saturday, January 16th.
The team followed up their undefeated Regionals performance with a 7-0 tournament (14-0 counting ballots from multiple judges per round. Going undefeated during the two most prestigious tournaments for 3-2-1A debaters was no small task.
The 4-Speaker Team of Harun Raffi (Sr.), Ben Voloch (Sr.), Daniel Hechenberger (Jr.), and Iain Moufarrij (Sr.) earned the State Championship on Saturday, January 16, 2021.
“It really is unbelievable,” said Rob Egan ’13, Upper School Debate Coach. “They put in the hard work to do this. They reviewed their ballots each week, they cut their cards, and they did the work to make this happen.”
While the Spartan Debate Team was led by 3 seniors, only Moufarrij is a returning member of the 2019-2020 3-2-1A 4-Speaker Debate State Champion team. In addition to having the top 3-2-1A 4-Speaker team, Collegiate also earned spots for 4 teams to compete at the 3-2-1A 2-Speaker Debate Tournament. The duo of Emma Mantovani (Soph.) and Katherine Grace (Soph.) also made the quarterfinals.
Pictured from Left to Right. Back Row: Iain Moufarrij, Joseph Gadalla, Ben Voloch, Rahul Madhavan, Ayaan Parikh, Sky Fujinuma. Front Row: Harun Raffi, Aiden Sprole, Daniel Hechenberger, Katherine Grace, Emma Mantovani, and Mr. Rob Egan '13 (US Debate Coach).
“To have maxed out (have 8 competitors) and to have 2 sophomores break to quarterfinals is also pretty phenomenal,” said Egan.
The tournament caps off a year that required no shortage of adapting. Completely digital tournaments (on Zoom) changed the way that many debaters can compete, and placed a much greater emphasis on evidence over communication styles.
“We just finished the most difficult year with everything being virtual. I am really proud of our students,” said Egan. And so is Wichita Collegiate School.