The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


Student Spotlight: Shivane Sabharwal

By: Staff Writer Ansh Patel 

Cementing his reputation as a stand-out debater on the national circuit, Senior Shivane Sabharwal was recently crowned champion of the Lincoln-Douglas (LD) division on Oct. 16-18 at the 45th annual New York City Invitational Speech and Debate Tournament held at The Bronx High School of Science.

Sabharwal was also invited to compete in LD at the Big Apple Round Robin, an exclusive event hosted the day before the tournament that only selects seven nationally-recognized debaters to compete in round robin. Because it is only open to those selected, the round robin is separate from the invitational, and Sabharwal tied for second place at the event, winning seven of a total of twelve ballots.

Reflecting on his experience competing at the invitational held the day after the round robin, Sabharwal said, “I lost round one so my morale was a bit low, but I knew that I had to take things one round at a time. With that in mind, I was able to pull through for the next six rounds. Elimination rounds were tough but a combination of good preparation from our entire team and strategic thinking pulled me through to finals, where I won on a 3-2 decision.” The competitive tournament boasts participants from around the country who are invited for a chance to showcase their forensic abilities in front of a national audience.

Because of its national appeal, the tournament welcomes over 650 competitors and is a qualifying competition for the National High School Tournament of Champions (TOC) in all four debate events. In order to earn a qualifying bid in his event, Lincoln-Douglas debate, Sabharwal had to finish as an Octafinalist, or in the top 16. Since he passed that threshold on his journey to first place, Sabharwal, adding on to his bid earned at the Voices Invitational held on Oct. 10, earned his second bid and qualified to the TOC, which will be held in April.

At the tournament, Sabharwal swept his competition as he won 18 out of a possible 19 ballots, going undefeated after the first round of the tournament. To add on to his impressive performance, Sabharwal took home a speaker award, and finished 8th out of 175 other entries. Looking forward, Sabharwal said, “I plan on trying my best to perform just as well at all the other tournaments I attend.”


Photo Credits: Shivane Sabharwal

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