CAMBRIDGE, MA- With Indian-American debating star Hemanth Sanjeev on the team, Harvard University on Monday won the National Debate Tournament for first time in 26 years.
In the 70th National Debate Tournament championship, Harvard Debate Council members David J. Herman ’16 and Hemanth Sanjeev ’18 defeated a team from the University of Kansas to bring home the trophy for the first time in 26 years, reported The Harvard Crimson.
“It’s obviously pretty cool,” Crimson reported Herman as saying. “We got a bunch of emails and messages from alumni of the team of the team from 10, 20, 30 years ago who were pretty excited that we had finally broken the streak.”
Though Harvard usually attends the tournament and partook in the final four for the last three years, Harvard hadn’t won the national championship since 1990, according to the Harvard newspaper.
The pair’s run through the single-elimination tournament started with the team’s reception for the Copeland Award, which they were awarded for being ranked first in the entering 78-team field. After three days of preliminary competition, Harvard was then seeded seventh in the single-elimination bracket, according to the Harvard Crimson.
“Their run through the tournament included wins over a Michigan State University team, the United States Military Academy in the round of 16, Georgetown University in the elite eight, the top Michigan State University team in the final four, and finally the University of Kansas in the championship round,” the Harvard Crimson said.