Mehak Sharma

Sonoma Takes Stanford

Mehak Sharma
Sonoma Takes Stanford


On Monday afternoon, the Stanford Invitational narrowed down to a scintillating final match between Los Altos’ Spencer Dembner & Steven Herman and Sonoma Academy’s Connor Duncan & Aris Saxena. Negating the resolution “The United States federal government should implement a Universal Basic Income”, Sonoma Academy’s Duncan & Saxena won on a 5-0 decision, taking home 32 points for the championship.

Stanford’s final round reflected a recent trend at major parliamentary debate tournaments--the 2015 Tournament of Champions, National Parliamentary Debate Invitational, and Santa Clara University Dempsey-Cronin Invitational, notably-- of one team, successfully or unsuccessfully, rejecting the resolution and advocating against capitalism. In this case, the negation was successful in its approach, while the affirmation initially argued that their plan would stave off entitlement collapse and later responded to the negation’s critique with impact turns. In the end, judges mostly voted on a framework argument about debate only being able to produce knowledge and not political change.

With the introduction of a topic-writing committee and Internet prep and the noticeable absence of colored flow paper, this tournament was different from past years. Timeliness and topical resolutions showed great improvement from past years.

With 98 teams total in the open division, the break to partial triple octafinals allowed all teams with 4-2 records to clear. Of the 34 teams to clear, only two went undefeated in prelims: Sonoma Academy’s Jack Greenberg & Liam Kolling and their teammates and tournament champions Connor Duncan & Aris Saxena.

On their way to the championship, Duncan & Saxena dropped Nueva’s Neeraj Sharma & Leo Rossi in doubles, Leland’s Alex Luo & Dong Hee Han in octos, Evergreen’s Basil Abushama & Nadia Cochinwala in quarters, and Bishop O’Dowd’s Shawn Cunningham & Camille Porter-McAvoy in semis.

Meanwhile, Dembner & Herman dropped Menlo-Atherton’s Daniel Chaiken & Kyle Kranen in doubles, Lynbrook’s Uday Tripathi & Kartik Rathi in octos, Campolindo’s hybrid duo of Thomas Liao & Aditya Kaushik in quarters, and Sonoma’s Jack Greenberg & Liam Kolling in semis.

The semifinalist duo of Bishop O’Dowd’s Shawn Cunningham and Camille Porter-McAvoy were also the tournament’s top speakers, followed by Los Altos’s Spencer Dembner and Sonoma Academy’s Jack Greenberg and Connor Duncan. Notably, the top five speakers were all either semifinalists, finalists, or champions.

In the junior varsity division, San Marin’s Bilal Mubarack & Nathan Troup defeated Jesuit’s Nicholas Liberty & David Warne in finals on a 2-1 decision. Valencia’s Will Jones was the top speaker, followed by Crystal Springs Uplands’ Alice Jiang and San Marin’s Manny LaCarrubba.


Sonoma Jack Greenberg & Liam Kolling w/o Sonoma Caleb Kornfein & Audrey von Raesfeld 

Campolindo Richard Gong & Austen Li def. Notre Dame Lilly Hackworth & Daeny Pineda

Campolindo/Irvington Thomas Liao & Aditya Kaushik def. Prospect Akshay Chacko & Warda Khan

Los Altos Spencer Dembner & Steven Herman def. Lynbrook Kartik Rathi & Uday Tripathi

Bishop O'Dowd Shawn Cunningham & Camille Porter-McAvoy def. Evergreen Anirudh Mani & Janav Sharma

Evergreen Albert Le & Violet Sinnarkar w/o Evergreen Poojan Shukla & Marek Zielinski

Evergreen Basil Abushama & Nadia Cochinwala def. Sequoia/Cupertino Kushagra Sharma & Shankara Srikantan

Sonoma Connor Duncan & Aris Saxena def. Leland Dong Hee Han & Alex Luo


Sonoma Greenberg & Kolling def. Campolindo Gong & Li

Los Altos Dembner & Herman def. Irvington/Campolindo Kaushik & Liao

Bishop O'Dowd Cunningham & Porter-McAvoy def. Evergreen Le & Sinnarkar

Sonoma Duncan & Saxena def. Evergreen Abushama & Cochinwala


Los Altos DH def. Sonoma GK

Sonoma DS def. Bishop O'Dowd CP


Sonoma DS def. Los Altos DH

Parli resolutions can be found here.

Prelim results can be found here.

Pre-tournament post may be found here