Bishop O'Dowd Caitlin Walsh & Marco Zepeda turned in what is arguably the most dominating elimination rounds performance in high school parliamentary debate history en route to winning the 2014 Parliamentary Debate Tournament of Champions hosted by Claremont High School over the April 5-6 weekend.
Walsh & Zepeda turned in an impressive prelim performance and compiled a ballot count of 10 wins and 4 losses after seven preliminary rounds and held the #2 seed heading into elims. In quarters, the duo squared off against the fellow O’Dowd team of Anna Johnson & Emily Zeme and took the round on a 3-0 decision. In semis, Walsh & Zepeda faced Palos Verdes Peninsula Chang & Foltz, the top team in Southern California. Debating in front of a panel of seven judges, Walsh & Zepeda picked up the round in a clean 7-0 sweep. The final round, against Bishop O’Dowd’s superb rival Dougherty Valley Konath & Wang, saw Walsh & Zepeda affirming the resolution “The United States Federal Government should end drone strikes in Pakistan and Afghanistan.” Debating in front of a panel of 11 expert and battle-tested college judges, Walsh & Zepeda successfully affirmed the resolution and took possession of the cup on a 10-1 split ballot.
This marks the second consecutive year that Bishop O’Dowd High School has taken possession of the California Cup and the third time O’Dowd Debate has won the tournament in its five year history. Carey Appledorn & Kate Drew won the TOC in 2010 and Nick Accinelli & Nadia Perl won the 2013 TOC with a 3-2 split decision over Walsh & Zepeda.