After two short preliminary rounds, two semifinals determined team’s footings at the northern Oregon season opener. Lincoln’s Sheila Panyam & Serenity Wade defeated Sunset's Weesam Chehab & Raveen Karnik, while Westview’s Chaithu Dikkala & Bharath Namboothiry beat West Linn’s Nalini Oliver & Lauren Sandberg.
While no final round was held, the top four were placed by speaker points and semifinal round results. Panyam & Wade came out on top, followed by Dikkala & Namboothiry, Chehab & Karnik, and Oliver & Sandberg.
After prelims, the pool of 21 in teams quickly narrowed down, and five undefeated partnerships emerged. In addition to the four semifinalists, Centennial’s Christian Cop & Matthew Maillet maintained a perfect preliminary record.
Tournaments with two preliminary rounds are somewhat common in Oregon: however, they can be quite unpredictable in results. "It means that you could go 2-0 and still [not break] because a judge is harsher or laxer on speaks[,] which is the most upsetting way to lose," said Zachary Nash, a senior parliamentary debater from Lincoln High School who competed at the tournament, but went 1-1.
In one of the semifinal rounds, Panyam & Wade successfully affirmed the resolution, “Fracking should be prohibited,” against Chehab & Karnik. The round focused on the prioritization of the national elimination of fracking over global reduction of fracking. The affirmation highlighted their plan’s effect on slowing climate change, stopping environmental destruction at home, and potential to open opportunities for green technology.
The negation unsuccessfully proposed a counterplan for the United Nations to incrementally decrease fracking over a twenty year period, discussing a reliance on crude oil for energy and a reliance on plastic.
In the other semifinal round, Dikkala & Namboothiry defeated Oliver & Sandberg while affirming the resolution, "Fracking should be locally regulated." Dikkala & Namboothiry focused on a local government's ability to know what's best for the area in regards to fracking and the stimulation for the local economy. On the negation, Oliver & Sandberg focused on the federal government's knowledge of possible benefits for the country and its economy and the ability for large corporations to produce more jobs.
Editor's Note: This article has been released a week after tournament end, due to late posting of cumulative results.
Our Oregon correspondents are SaraJane Griffiths, debating for Lake Oswego High School, and Karl Moeglein, debating for Ashland High School.
Results may be found here.