The Southern California circuit started off 2017 with the Wolfpack Invitational, held from the 6th to the 8th of January at Claremont High School. The tournament reached its climax as Los Altos’s Spencer Dembner & Lilly Hackworth faced off against Lowell’s Emily Moon & James Sutton, affirming the resolution that “The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement will do more harm than good to the Vietnamese economy." Dembner & Hackworth emerged as champions on a 2-1 split decision.

Dembner & Hackworth argued that the privatization of state-owned businesses and the termination of agriculture subsidies would create a short-term shock that results in the loss of demand, ultimately preventing future growth. They also argued that Vietnam in currently undergoing economic reform, so there were no long-term benefits worth the immediate damage.

Although the tournament was well-run in its entirety, there are a couple of exceptions. Many of the resolutions, especially policy resolutions, had arguably unbalanced ground that gave the affirmation the upper hand. Resolutions like “The United States Federal Government would reorganize the executive cabinet departments” gave the affirmation definitional flexibility which hurt negation teams, given their limited time to prepare answers. Therefore, several unnamed debaters hoped that the resolutions will be more specific next time.

The tournament saw 41 entries in the open parliamentary division, which had six preliminary rounds before transitioning to the elimination stage. Seventeen teams broke into the elimination rounds, so Cypress’s Anusha Basak & Sami Brown debated against University High’s Aurnov Chattopadhyay & Harrison Ku in a partial double-octofinals round. Chattopadhyay & Ku became the 16th seed for the octofinals, and then the elimination rounds proceeded as usual.

The top three speakers for the Wolfpack Invitational were Lowell’s Emily Moon, Los Altos’s Ryan Lee, and Lowell’s James Sutton respectively. 


PARTIAL DOUBLE-OCTOFINALS

Cypress Anusha Basak & Sami Brown def. University High Aurnov Chattopadhyay & Harrison Ku

OCTOFINALS

Los Altos Spencer Dembner & Lilly Hackworth def. Cypress Basak & Brown

Northwood Amanda Miskell & Justin Pyne def. Los Altos Jodie Bhattacharya & Zooey Nguyen

Redlands Simon McGuire & Adam Pepper def. University High Jason Chen & Sandeep Kambhampati

University High Vignesh Iyer & Kai Soto-Dessen def. Redlands Erin Dolittle & Jackson Shiell

University High Priyan Sathianathan & Kanyes Thaker def. University High Tejas Dhindsa & Michael Wu

Lowell Emily Moon & James Sutton def. Los Altos Alex Wong & William Zeng

Los Altos Shirley Cheng & Ryan Lee def. Lowell Emily Hall & Frances Sutton

La Canada Charlie Lea & Alex Zhao def. Mountain View Javin Pombra & Daniel Vesurai

QUARTERFINALS

Los Altos Dembner & Hackworth def. Northwood Miskell & Pyne

University High Iyer & Soto-Dessen def. Redlands McGuire & Pepper

Lowell Moon & Sutton def. University High Sathianathan & Thanker

La Canada Lea & Zhao def. Los Altos Cheng & Lee

SEMIFINALS

Los Altos Dembner & Hackworth def. University High Iyer & Soto-Dessen

Lowell Moon & Sutton def. La Canada Lea & Zhao

FINALS

Los Altos Dembner & Hackworth def. Lowell Moon & Sutton


Our Southern California correspondents are Kavan Nakai, who debates for Claremont High School, and Christina Patricia, who debates for Torrey Pines High School.