Welcome to the third of nine monthly updates on the standings and tournament results for the 2020-21 National Points Race! This edition features the results from the Glenbrooks and Villiger, as well explaining our rationale for changing our valuation of the George Mason University Patriot Games for 2020.
November was another busy month on the national circuit, with two major tournaments – The Glenbrooks and Villiger – held the weekend before Thanksgiving. The GMU Patriot Games, the Princeton Classic, and the UT Longhorn Classic will all be taking place during the first weekend of December, ending the 2020 calendar year for the National Points Race.
The Glenbrooks, usually hosted in Northbrook, Illinois, separated US and International Extemp for the first time in recent memory this year; for National Points Race purposes, all competitors who enter in more than one extemp field receive points for only their best performance in order to avoid disproportionately overweighting split-extemp tournaments, as well as to avoid disadvantaging those who choose not to double-enter in extemp.
Two competitors stood out at the tournament: Pranav Pattathunaduvil of Plano West Sr. High School (TX), and Katelyn Cai of BASIS Scottsdale (AZ), who were the only competitors to final in both categories, and the US and International Extemp champions, respectively. In US Extemp, Cai finished third, behind Gabriel Frank-McPheter of Gabrielino High School (CA), and ahead of Krishna Sanaka from the Hawken School (OH), Peter Alisky of Smoky Hill High School (CO), and Nathan Tamkin of George Washington High School (CO), who placed fourth, fifth, and sixth respectively. In the International Extemp final round, Pattathunaduvil took second, Extemper’s Bible founder Ananth Veluvali of Edina High School (MN) placed third, and 2020 NSDA IX finalist Ashok Ramkumar of Bellarmine College Preparatory (CA) placed fourth. Yale champion McKinley Paltzik of Phoenix Country Day School (AZ) had another strong placing, taking home fifth, while 2020 NSDA USX finalist Jishnu Basu of Plano Senior High School (TX) closed out the round in sixth place.
Semifinalists in USX were Srinath Hariharan (Woodbury, MN), Kush Narang (Bellarmine College Prep, CA), Kyle Letterer (Jasper, TX), Sydney Carroll (Battle Ground, TN), Anushka Kumar (Plano West, TX), and Sharon Liu (Gabrielino, CA).
Semifinalists in IX were Anushka Kumar, Ethan Jiang (Seven Lakes, TX), Peter Alisky, Pierce Florey (Phoenix Country Day, AZ), Krishna Sanaka, and Ryan Alappatt (Bellarmine College Prep, CA).
As the Glenbrooks was a Tier 3 event, all of the events’ finalists, semifinalists, and quarterfinalists in both categories, all competitors will receive points for their best performance.
Held the same weekend as the Glenbrooks was the 41st Villiger tournament, hosted by St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. James Wang of Strath Haven High School (PA) had a strong showing in the final round, championing the event, ahead of Chirag Choudhary of Unionville High School (PA). In third was Genie Enders of Scarsdale High School (NY), who beat out the round’s third Pennsylvanian and fourth-place finisher, Anthony Hays of St. Joseph’s Preparatory (PA). Rounding out the final were Rithika Prasad of Shrewsbury High School (MA) and Aidan Healy of Catholic Memorial School (MA) in fifth and sixth respectively.
Semifinalists – but without earning points in the National Points Race – are Rishika Bansal (Scarsdale, NY), Jaden Bharara (Scarsdale, NY), Truman DiBartolo (Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning, NY), Yotam Pe’er (Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning, NY), and Karam Weigert (Woodrow Wilson, DC).
Lastly, the National Points Race wanted to notify GMU competitors ahead of time that the tournament has been demoted to a Tier 4 tournament for 2020 only, and that points will not be awarded for the event’s Round Robin this year. While GMU is usually one of the premier events on the East Coast, the tournament organizers’ decision to hold an asychronous Round Robin and asychronous prelim rounds may lead many to regard it as “illegitimate.” While we (Steve and Jimmy) think that the live outrounds will lead to meritocratic final results, we wanted to acknowledge that the strange prelim format may lead to unusual outcomes. This tournament will be unlike any other previous extemp tournament, just as this season has been unprecedented and extraordinary in many ways. As we run the National Points Race, our goal has always been the same – to reward extempers for excelling and for conducting a friendly competition between the highest-caliber competitors the nation has to offer. This may be just the first of many adjustments to the National Points Race this year – we thank you for your understanding.