BY MEHAK SHARMA

On Saturday night, in a near rematch of last year’s championship round, 8x4 culminated in the final round between Los Altos’s Spencer Dembner & Steven Herman and Dougherty Valley’s Chait Sayani & Sameer Ziaee. Affirming the resolution “The United States federal government should implement a cap and trade policy on carbon emissions”, Sayani & Ziaee ran a critical argument against the destruction of the environment-- rather, the “face of nature”-- in the finals round, winning on a 3-0 decision and taking home 25 points for the championship.

(from left) Los Altos's finalist duo of Steven Herman & Spencer Dembner and Dougherty Valley's championship team of Sameer Ziaee & Chait Sayani

This year’s 8x4 ran as efficiently as ever. Back-to-back rounds and short meal breaks ensured the completion of 6 preliminary and 4 elimination rounds -- a feat managed by most tournaments over the course of a full weekend -- by Saturday night. During the short meal breaks, debaters’ hunger was evident, as food ran out quickly. Nonetheless, the topical resolutions and high caliber of competition at the tournament with the backdrop of Bishop O’Dowd High School’s breathtaking views made for an intense, yet enjoyable tournament.

The 8x4’s competitive field comprised not only the returning champions and finalists, but also many other top NorCal parli teams. On their way to the championship, Ziaee & Sayani dropped Campolindo’s Kaveh Boostanpour & Thomas Liao, NPDI semifinalists, in quarters, as well as Sonoma Academy’s Connor Duncan & Aris Saxena, Stanford champions, in semis. Meanwhile, Dembner & Herman dropped Bishop O’Dowd’s Carla Ho & Eunice Jung in quarters, and Evergreen Valley’s Basil Abushama & Nadia Cochinwala, NPDI finalists, in semis.

With only the top teams in each of the 8 pods and 2 “wild cards” advancing to elimination rounds, every preliminary round was essential. By the end of the 6 preliminary rounds, no teams emerged undefeated, and Campolindo’s Kaveh Boostanpour & Thomas Liao, Dougherty Valley’s Chait Sayani & Sameer Ziaee, Los Altos’s Spencer Dembner & Steven Herman, Bishop O’Dowd’s Carla Ho & Eunice Jung, and Sonoma Academy’s Connor Duncan & Aris Saxena and Caleb Kornfein & Audrey von Raesfeld possessed 5-1 records.

The tournament’s top speaker were Evergreen Valley’s Basil Abushama, followed by tournament champions Chait Sayani & Sameer Ziaee, Evergreen Valley’s Nadia Cochinwala, and Campolindo’s Thomas Liao.

Meanwhile, in the concurrent novice 7x1, Bishop O’Dowd’s O’Rafferty & Schulz defeated Campolindo’s Hinchliff & Stankus after debating six preliminary rounds along with a partial-semifinal, taking home an engraved wooden plank as a symbol of their championship.


 PARTIAL-OCTAFINALS

Campolindo Kaveh Boostanpour & Thomas Liao def. Evergreen Valley Poojan Shukla & Marek Zielinski (3-0)

Sonoma Caleb Kornfein & Audrey von Raesfeld def. Evergreen Valley Anirudh Mani & Janav Sharma (3-0)

QUARTERFINALS

Los Altos Spencer Dembner & Steven Herman def. Bishop O'Dowd Carla Ho & Eunice Jung (3-0)

Sonoma Connor Duncan & Aris Saxena def. Bishop O'Dowd Camille Porter-McAvoy & Danielle Viviani (3-0)

Evergreen Valley Basil Abushama & Nadia Cochinwala def. Sonoma Kornfein & von Raesfeld

Dougherty Valley Chait Sayani & Sameer Ziaee def. Campolindo Boostanpour & Liao

SEMIFINALS

Los Altos Dembner & Herman def. Evergreen Valley Abushama & Cochinwala (3-0)

Dougherty Valley Sayani & Ziaee def. Sonoma Duncan & Saxena (2-1)

FINALS

Dougherty Valley SZ def. Los Altos DH (3-0)


Tournament packets for the 8x4 and 7x1 can be found here and here.

Pre-tournament analysis can be found here.

Link to Facebook post can be found here.