Skip to main content


Debate State Tournament, 2023: Brynteson, Terveen defend 2022 titles

Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2023 - 8:42 AM

Debate 23-News

Opening borders for human migration and increasing diplomatic efforts to resolve armed conflicts in west Asia were two of the topics argued at the 2023 Debate State Tournament – the 122nd edition and longest-running event of the Minnesota State High School League. This was the first time the tournament has been held in person since 2020.

Hannah Owens Pierre of Edina claimed her first title in the Lincoln-Douglas competition. She defeated Leah Willingham of Apple Valley 4-3 in the final round.

Owen Pierre’s argument for justice requiring open borders for human migration followed nine rounds of debate conducted over two days.

The results of eight rounds of debate proved that Alper Guvenen and Sabeeh Mirza of Edina were the best policy debaters. Guvenen and Mirza argued for the federal government substantially increasing its security cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as they defeated defending champions Eric Li and Archan Sen of Eagan 4-3.

Both Guvenen and Mirza fell in the semifinals with different partners last year. Guvenen competed with John Vaccaro and Mirza was paired with Jack Herzer.

Elizabeth Terveen and Sofia Perri of Blake took top honors in Public Forum. Their victory came after nine rounds of debate and they won 5-2 with the affirmative argument over teammates Zellie Olson and Eva Redmond. Terveen and Perri argued for the United States increasing its diplomatic efforts to peacefully resolve internal armed conflicts in west Asia.

This was the second consecutive victory for Terveen; she won with Skylar Wang in 2022.

Connor Brynteson of Robbinsdale Cooper won his second consecutive title in Congressional debate. Abiha Kashif of Eagan claimed runner-up honors.

Congressional is a mock legislative assembly competition where students draft bills (proposed laws) and resolutions (position statements). Their peers then debate the legislation and vote whether or not to pass it into law. There were six rounds of Congressional debate, concluding with two Super Sessions on Saturday afternoon.

The Policy debate portion of the tournament has been conducted since 1902 and the Lincoln-Douglas portion of the tournament, which was an invitational event from 1986 through 1989, was added to the tournament in 1990. Public Forum was introduced in 2013 and Congressional was added in 2018.

Next Article

MSHSL History Capsule: Pam Cady Wycoff