Greenhill Debate Clenches Victories at TFA Tournament

Christan Park

This year at the Texas Forensic Association State Championship, Greenhill Debate won two State Championships, one in Policy Debate and one in World Schools Debate, as well as the Top Speaker award in World Schools Debate. The TFA is an organization for both public and private schools both big and small that requires students to qualify in order to compete. This year, 31 Greenhill students qualified.

“This was the largest amount of students ever to go to TFA,” Director of Debate Aaron Timmons said. “Covid affected some programs negatively, but our numbers increased.”

In Policy Debate, Krish Mysoor ’24 and Shruti Siva ’22 won the championship. They defeated the first seed, second seed, fourth seed and a team from the Liberal Arts and Science Academy, which is ranked as the number one policy school in Texas. Siva also received the eighth speaker award in her category.

“It felt really good since last year we found out we lost over a Teams call, and when we won this year it felt a little bit like redemption,” Siva said.

Teja Mettu ’23 and Varsha Gande ’22 made it to the quarterfinals in Policy.

In World Schools Debate, Caroline Greenstone ’22, Aimee Stachowiak ’22, Cameron Kettles ’22, Ashley Shan ’22, and Ashton Higgins ’22 placed first, winning with a unanimous decision over Northland Christian School from Houston in the final round.

“At first it felt hard to believe, so close but yet so far away,” said Higgins. “But when they finally announced us as the winning team on a 5-0 decision it felt like the perfect combination.”

Senior Caroline Greenstone was awarded the Top Speaker award in the World Schools Debate division. This award is given to the student with the highest average of speaker points at the end of all the debates.

“I am very proud since she put in a lot of work, and seeing Greenhill represented at the top of the speaker awards feels nice, as it shows our hard work paid off,” said teammate Shan.

Jeanette Yang ’24, Emily Hu ’24, Natalie Stachowiak ’24, Sophia Li ’24, Poona Sanghvi ’24, Kaden Alibhai ’24, Carcyn Coleman ’23, Vivian Gupta ’24, Sophia Mohamed ’23, and Nate Stitt ’23 all reached octofinals in World Schools.

Higgins, Shan, Stitt, Kettles, Yang, and Coleman were also awarded the third, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth speaker awards in World Schools respectively.

In Lincoln Douglas Debate, Krutin Devesh ’22 and Nikita Thoduguli ’23 both made it to the double octofinals in a bracket of 49 different teams. Devesh was also named 10th speaker in the Lincoln Douglas division.

“It was really exciting,” said Timmons. “We prepared insanely hard to give the students the best opportunity to do well, and they did.”

Though these achievements show the success of Greenhill debate, Timmons doesn’t want debaters to strive only to win, but also to learn and grow.

“It is about expanding their worldview, and knowledge about a variety of different things,” said Timmons. “[I want] them to learn more about themselves, other people, and the world around them.”