BY MEHAK SHARMA
On Saturday, 32 varsity teams will convene at Bishop O’Dowd for one of the most highly anticipated tournaments of the season: the 8x4 Invitational. With 6 preliminary and four elimination rounds packed into one day, attendees are gearing up for a grueling day. Due to a field size of 32 and a one-point bonus for 6 preliminary rounds, the tournament is worth 24 points for champions.
Though only in its second year running, the invitational has already gained popularity for its unique characteristics. In fact, spots filled up so rapidly during registration that two pods had to be added to the previous 6x4 arrangement. Besides its packed schedule, the tournament also features four rounds with irregular times as well as gourmet meals for all attendees. The second and fifth preliminary rounds will include time for cross-examination, like other debate formats such as policy and public forum. Meanwhile, the third and fourth preliminary rounds have been truncated as to fit in partial octofinals for the seventh thru tenth seeds. The top teams from all eight pods and two “wild card” teams (based on records and speaker points) will advance to elimination rounds.
The small but fiercely competitive field includes a majority of the current top ten teams: in attendance are Evergreen Valley’s top-ranked Basil Abushama & Nadia Cochinwala, NPDI champions, Los Altos’s second-ranked Spencer Dembner & Steven Herman, SCU Champions and Stanford finalists, and Sonoma Academy’s fifth-ranked Connor Duncan & Aris Saxena, Stanford champions. Irvington’s sixth-ranked Aditya Kaushik & Michelle Huang, UOP finalists, Sonoma Academy’s eighth-ranked Jack Greenberg & Liam Kolling, CSU Fullerton champions, and Cupertino/ Sequoia’s ninth-ranked Kushagra Sharma & Shankara Srikantan, SCU finalists, will also be representing the top ten. In addition, Bishop O’Dowd’s very own Shawn Cunningham, ranked fourth individually, will make a return with partner Claudia Hester, as well as the twenty-fourth ranked duo of Camille Porter-McAvoy & Danielle Viviani.
Preliminary rounds will begin at 8 A.M. on Saturday.