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BHS Debate team competes at invite

Nathaniel Mahlum, Connor Powell, Jacob Reiter and James Maltman gather around the octofinalist trophy the team brought home from the Stanford National Invitational.   - Jordan Hudgens photo
Nathaniel Mahlum, Connor Powell, Jacob Reiter and James Maltman gather around the octofinalist trophy the team brought home from the Stanford National Invitational.
— image credit: Jordan Hudgens photo

Several members of the Bainbridge High School Debate Team — Jacob Reiter, Connor Powell, James Maltman and Nathaniel Mulhume — traveled to Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. Feb. 8-11 to participate in the 27th annual Stanford National Invitational. The trip was exciting from start to finish, as on the flight to San Francisco the team met Seattle-based performer Macklemore, and on the final day of the tournament BHS sophomore James Maltman returned home with an octofinalist trophy in varsity Lincoln-Douglas.

The Stanford tournament attracts students from all across the nation. This year, 285 debaters participated in the Lincoln-Douglas events.

A grueling seven-round preliminary, five rounds for junior varsity, was contested over two days. Each debate round lasts approximately 45 minutes, and the students are only told 15 minutes before the start of the round if they will be on the affirmative or negative side of the topic.

After the preliminary in varsity competition, Maltman qualified for the finals bracket out of 164 participants, and gained a bye in the triple octo final round based upon a 5-2 record. In the round of 32, he defeated higher-seeded Allen Zheng of Palo Alto High School before losing to Jared Paul of Brentwood School/Los Angeles in the round of 16.

“I’m very pleased with the growth of our team and their willingness to work hard to improve,” said Spartan Coach Jordan Hudgens.

“The competition at the national level is quite stiff, but it’s important for the students to experience a higher level of competition so they can continue to learn and excel. I expect an even stronger showing from our team next year,” Hudgens said.

The week before the Stanford invite, the team competed at the Eastside Catholic tournament in Sammamish on Feb. 1-2.

Maltman went 4-2 and lost in quarterfinals, while teammates Jacob Riter and Conor Powell both were 3-3, and Nathaniel Mahlum was 2-4.

Two events remain on the season calendar: “Nat Quals” in Snohomish March 1-2 and then the state tournament March 15-16.

 

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