On February 18th, the Vikings Invitational concluded at Irvington High School. The tournament featured five rounds that determined winning places.

The champion team, Irvington’s Reetam Ganguli & Isha Sanghvi, finished with an undefeated record. Irvington’s Raisah Khan & Ashka Patel came second with the same record, and Berkeley’s Kai Burgmann & Cole McCann-Phillips subsequently followed with a 4-1 record. Within the novice division, Irvington closed out the top three places with Tanya Jain & Geetika Yelugoti, Neha Bagepalli & Ved Mistry, and Yash Khatavkar & Vickneshvaran Odaiyappan.

Champion Reetam Ganguli led speaker awards, with teammate Ashka Patel earning second and partner Isha Sanghvi finishing third. Irvington took home the top novice awards with Tanya Jain, Geetika Yelugoti, and Ved Mistry, respectively.

"It was definitely surprising that Irvington received many of the awards," said Irvington debater William Yoo. "But it's likely because of the smaller field size from the low point value and the many last-minute drops that made Irvington a large portion of the field." The Vikings Invitational first opened doors in 2016 to 41 teams in the open division. This year, the tournament date was adjusted and welcomed 29 teams, as schools like Valley Christian and Bentley were absent. 

"The Viking Invitational, though the date was postponed two times and was difficult to coordinate with our members, ran on time for the most part and the variety of topics allows for a truly unique educational experience," said Washington's Shiranthi Jawahar. 

Irvington hopes to fix that scheduling problem for next year to resolve those coordination problems. "Next year, we hope that our schedule does not conflict with our school administration's so we do not need to postpone the tournament," said Yoo. "We would love to have more outreach to get more non-Bay Area teams to attend."

Our Northern California correspondents are Emily Her, who competes for Dougherty Valley High School, and Anoushka Singal, who competes for Irvington High School.