Collage of LRCH debate students posing with medals,; students are not named.  Supporting news article further explains.

Little Rock Central Debate traveled to the Harvard National Speech and Debate Tournament at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, this past week and claimed multiple top awards at the difficult and prestigious event. 

Seniors Jack Baker and Jackson Mills are the CHAMPIONS of the 2024 Harvard Round Robin. This is the first time LRCH has been invited to the Harvard Round Robin; Jack and Jackson advanced to the final round of the Round Robin, having won nearly all of their preliminary debates, and defeated rivals Berkeley Preparatory Academy from Florida. Jack also won 3rd Speaker in the Round Robin. 

Jack and Jackson finished in the Semifinals in the main tournament, earning their ninth bid to the Tournament of Champions. They now have tied Payton Woods and DJ Williams (2016) for the highest bid count in LRCH's program in a single season. Jack and Jackson hold the career record for the total number of bids at 11! Jackson was 4th Speaker in the main tournament, and Jack was 6th Speaker. 

Senior Kevin Durden blazed through preliminary sessions of Congressional Debate, advancing to the Quarterfinals, where he was elected presiding officer (Speaker of the House) without a runoff! Kevin's impressive run ended at Semifinals, earning him his fifth bid to the TOC in Congressional Debate this year. 

Amazing policy novices Jack Liu and Eric Tang as well as Genny Batcheller and Alvin Wu closed out Novice Finals, snagging 1st and 2nd Place in the division. Eric Tang was Top SPeaker, Jack Liu was 2nd Speaker, Alvin Wu was 4th Speaker, and Genny Batcheller was 6th Speaker.  Amol Kattaria and Caitlin Cheng placed in Novice Policy Doubles. 

Aarush Gaddi and Shimaz Hoque finished at Semifinals of the JV Policy Division. Aarush Gaddi was Top Speaker of the JV Division, and Shimaz Hoque was 8th Speaker.

Seniors Joey Leenhouts and Brady Chandler advanced to Doubles of Varsity Policy—another impressive run and break for them this season.

A special thanks to Rosie Valdez, Colton Gilbert, Courtney Hornsby, Jacob Kauffman, and Leigh Walters for supporting, coaching, and judging all weekend in the blustery cold!

Harvard is the last National Qualifier LRCH attends in the main season. Now begins the Championship season, where teams will vie for national titles at Novice/JV Nationals, National Debate Coaches Association National Championship, Tournament of Champions, Arkansas State Championship, and the National Speech and Debate Tournament. 

Way to go, Top Tiger Debaters!

(Submitted and written by Rosie Valdez, LRCH Debate Chair, with contributions by LRSD Communications)