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Wilton High School Debate Team Begins Season With Success

Brandon Zhang, Ryan Cross, Rachael Jones and Ryan Carlson are among members of the Wilton High School debate team.
Brandon Zhang, Ryan Cross, Rachael Jones and Ryan Carlson are among members of the Wilton High School debate team. Photo Credit: Courtesy Wilton High School

WILTON, Conn. -- More than 120 Wilton High students are enjoying a successful year as part of the school's debate team. 

The team, which is led by co-captains Ryan Cross and Ali Heistand and board members Jack Kaelin and Kurt Rubin, participates in both local and national tournaments. 

"Previous WHS teams have been extremely successful, regularly winning local tournaments as well as finishing among the very top, elite teams in national tournaments," said a press release from the school district. "At one time Wilton was ranked 16th overall in the U.S. And this year’s team is off to a great start."

Wilton participated in the Yale Invitational in September and competed against more than 25 other Connecticut schools.

"After five preliminary rounds on Saturday, Wilton seniors Rachael Jones and Ryan Cross were among the top 18 teams and along with other Connecticut teams from Amity, New Canaan, and Simsbury had records of 4-1 or better and returned on Sunday for partial octo-finals and elimination rounds," district representatives said. "Jones and Cross lost in a 2-1 decision to the team of Bishop O' Dowd High School in California, which went on to win the tournament."

On Oct. 12, the Connecticut Debate Association held its first tournament of the year at AITE in Stamford and the team of Elliot Conners and Daniel Jensen, both sophomores, placed first overall in the Novice Division, while Daniel Jensen received the award for third place Speaker overall in the Novice Division. 

On Nov. 15, the team participated in the second CDA tournament of the year at New Canaan High School. In the Novice Division, the freshman team of Ryan Carlsen and Brandon Zheng finished with a 3-0 record, which placed them half way to qualifying for the State Championships. In the Varsity Division, the team of Jones and Cross won second place. 

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