Woodrow debate team storms competition circuit

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The Woodrow Wilson High School debate team has had an historic year in 2015.

In fact, this team of powerful persuaders has literally talked their way from Dallas to Austin to Los Angeles, establishing a track record of championships along the way.

Debate team members Gabriel Jankovsky, a junior, and Mac Murchison, a senior, recently returned from the National Association of Urban Debate Leagues Championship at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles where they advanced to the semifinals, taking third place in the national competition. Debate sponsor Robert Hearne said the accomplishment is history-making for Woodrow.

“At nationals, Mac and Gabe debated teams from across the nation to make it to third place. This achievement is a first for both Woodrow and Dallas ISD,” Hearne said. “No team from Dallas ISD has made it past the octafinals (round sixteen) in the tournament’s history and, this year, Woodrow went two steps further.”

As a stepping stone to their award-winning performance in Los Angeles, Hearne said the debate team’s dynamic duo bested all local competitors to also win the Dallas Urban Debate Alliance City Championship for the second year.

“Not only have Mac and Gabe had success on the Urban Debate League circuit, they and their other teammates distinguished themselves by winning top honors at the UIL state championships in Austin, capping a four-year streak of qualifying for state,” Hearne said.

Woodrow competitors Kadrian Oliver and Roberto Hairston were also part of the team that competed in the Austin UIL event, turning in a performance that Hearne describes as superb.

Not ones to rest on their laurels, the young team members are sharpening their skills, Hearne said. They are already looking forward to surpassing this year’s impressive record next school year, Hearne said.

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