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  • Writer's pictureHUDL Editor

City Championship tourney closes a season to remember

The unique and challenging 2020-2021 Houston Urban Debate League season reached a successful conclusion as HUDL's top competitors duked it out for the title of City Champions.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, recalling her own time as high school speech and debate student, welcomed the competitors to the championship tournament. Afterwards, top competitors from Houston Independent School District (HISD) and Harris County Department of Education (HCDE CASE) qualifying tournaments clashed in five separate events.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City Championship Tournament took place in an all-online format, as had HUDL's 2020 summer camp and all HUDL tournaments in the 2020-2021 season. Though unprecedented, this approach allowed students and coaches to safely continue their educational programs despite the challenges posed by this unusual year.

At the end of the day, champions and runners-up in each event took home Ben Hatfield Memorial Scholarship awards thanks to the generous donations of the Hatfield family and other HUDL donors. Many of these winners will also qualify for post-season tournaments, including the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues' national championship tournament in cross-examination debate.

The 2020-2021 HUDL City Champions and runners-up are:


Champion: Varshitha Krishna, Carnegie Vanguard High School

Runner-Up: Raahim Siddiqui, Carnegie Vanguard High School

Public Forum Debate:

Champions: Roy Semaan and Pranav Chemudupaty, DeBakey High School

Runners-Up: Pranav Kumar and Ruofan Liu, Carnegie Vanguard High School

Cross-Examination Debate:

Champions: Guadalupe Blas and Angelina Martinez, North Early College High School

Runners-Up: George Psaras and Julian Seghers, Heights High School

Lincoln-Douglas Debate:

Champion: Aishi Gulati, Westside High School

Runner-Up: Tanish Madan, Carnegie High School

World Schools Debate:

Champion: Diego Castillo, Anthony Hoang, Rodrigo Trujillo, and Ebenezer Appiah, Elsik High School

Runner-Up: Lola Vela, Hannah Dunn, Mohammad Hemeida, Mary Le, and Carrie Schoech, Spring Early College Academy

HUDL congratulates all the competitors on their accomplishments this year.

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