New Debate Team Heads to Pflugerville


Donovan Olsen

The ARS debaters prepping before the final round of day one.

Donovan Olsen, Lead News Editor

Even Friday’s pouring rain couldn’t dampen the competitive spirits of the Ann Richards debate team as they put their skills to the test, some for the very first time, at a region-wide tournament.

Two members of the debate team traveled to Pflugerville over the weekend for the second tournament of the season to discuss the pros and cons of compulsory voting.

This weekend, Karina Mendez-Perez (junior) and Asha Mani (freshman) competed in a regional debate tournament. Each tournament is comprised of two days where debaters compete in three rounds each, leading to a final match on the second day.

It was the second tournament Mani has competed in and Mendez’s first, having observed the first tournament two weeks earlier.

“I went to the first tournament to observe, so I already knew the process and what I needed to do,” said Mendez.

Junior Karina Mendez-Perez.
Junior Karina Mendez-Perez.

But observation can’t compare to experience, and Mendez’s first tournament still provided surprises and learning experiences.

“The rounds go really quickly. When you’re observing, they seem to drag on,” Mendez said. “But when you’re actually doing it, you start and Boom! It’s over.”

Despite the fast pace and being nervous before the competition, Mendez was able to learn from her time at the tournament.

“I understand now what I have to do to make myself better and advance in the rounds.” Mendez said.

Mendez placed ninth overall in the tournament after two days of competition, and Mani took first place. (Watch for an upcoming feature story on Mani’s impressive victory!)

Freshman Asha Mani
Freshman Asha Mani

Even with this early success, there’s still plenty of time for everyone to learn and improve individually. These debate tournaments will continue for the duration of the school year, giving debaters the chance to grow all year long.