New Trier Debate brings home state accolades

BK HS State Runner Up

While most New Trier High School students were beginning their spring break, varsity debaters were heading to Springfield on March 18-19 for the IHSA state championship, where New Trier was the only school in the state to qualify debaters for elimination rounds in all four debate events.

In Lincoln Douglas debate, senior Nicky Kacena finished as the IHSA varsity state runner-up. He was also named to the Illinois All-State Debate Team in Lincoln Douglas as the 2 nd overall speaker at the tournament fellow senior Louis Kollar advanced all the way to the semifinals.

Senior/junior partners William Kirby and Celia Buckman were the 2 nd seed in the Policy Debate division after five preliminary debates, winning nine out of a possible 10 ballots. They defeated Whitney Young High School in the quarterfinals and Niles West in the semifinals. Kirby and Buckman advanced to the final round, where they also ended as the varsity state runners-up. Kirby was named to the Illinois All-State Debate Team in Policy Debate as the 5 th speaker overall in a field of over 65 speakers.

Bethany David and Andrew Scarafile, senior debaters in the Public Forum division, advanced to elimination rounds and finished in the sweet 16 of the state tournament. In Congressional Debate, junior Lily Warner, competing in her second year, advanced to the semifinals.

The weekend prior saw New Trier debaters competing in the JV and Novice State Championships. At the Illinois Debate Coaches Association novice state championship for Policy Debate, Roland Kim and Marcos Nordenstahl won four straight elimination debates to be crowned novice state champions on a 2-1 decision over Whitney Young Magnet High School. Kim was named the top speaking individual novice debater at the tournament, and both students have earned scholarships for debate institutes over the summer.

Freshmen Bennett Blake and Josie Ewing also qualified for elimination debates. They finished in the semifinals, and Ewing was awarded the 9 th overall speaker medal.

Freshmen Claudia Levens and Jackson Miller finished in the sweet 16 of the tournament. Miller was named the 2 nd overall speaker in a field of over 60 debaters.

At the Illinois Communication and Theater Association JV and Novice state championship for Congressional, Lincoln Douglas, and Public Forum debate, Warner was crowned state runner up in Congress, while fellow Congressional debater Michelle Jiang took 3 rd place overall.

Several Trevians competed in the novice division for Lincoln Douglas debate. Kate Macakanja advanced through preliminary rounds and debated her way to the semifinals. She was also the 2 nd overall speaker at the tournament. Will Gluckman advanced to quarterfinals and was the 10 th speaker. Will Thornton finished in the quarterfinals as well and was given the overall top speaker award in the division. Patrick Tolan also finished as a quarterfinalist. That means that New Trier had half of the competitors in the quarterfinals for novice Lincoln Douglas debate.

In JV Lincoln Douglas, Charlie Williams was given the top individual speaker award and was a quarterfinalist. Peer Ben Schwabe also finished in the quarterfinals. Junior Gioia Charkravorti was given the 3 rd place speaker award in JV Public Forum debate.

By the numbers, New Trier debaters won the following:

  • 2 IHSA Varsity State Finalist Awards
  • 2 IHSA Varsity All-State Debate Team Speakers
  • 2 IHSA Varsity State Semifinalists
  • 1 IHSA Varsity State Octofinalist team
  • 1 Novice State Championship team
  • 2 Novice State Semifinalists
  • 4 Novice State Quarterfinalists
  • 2 JV State Quarterfinalists
  • 1 JV State Runner Up
  • 1 JV State Third Place finish
  • 8 JV/Novice Individual Speaker Awards