2021-22 National Points Race, September Update: Kind Wins Season Opener and Duke, Paltzik Repeats at Yale

Welcome to the first monthly update for the 2021-22 National Points Race! In this edition, we cover the results from the UK Season Opener, the Yale Invitational, and the Duke Invitational.

The new extemp season has started, and some familiar faces are already showing their growth from last year at the first tournaments of the season.

The National Speech and Debate Season Opener is a fifth-tier tournament typically hosted by the University of Kentucky but was held on NSDA Campus this year, and ran from September 11-13. At the tournament, 2020-21 NPR sixth-place finisher Daniel Kind (Lake Highland Preparatory, FL) showed his chops with a strong first-place performance. Runner-up was Cade Savoy (Teurlings Catholic, LA), who finished just three ranks behind Kind. Third was fellow Floridian Marc Zavarro (Western, FL). Fourth-place finisher Dana Ko (Pine Creek, CO) beat out fifth-place Dev Ahuja (Solon, OH) on recips, who himself beat out his teammate Vikram Sundaram (Solon, HS) to round out the tournament’s top six. Ananya Singh (Centennial, TX) placed seventh in the final round, but will not receive points for her performance.

Semifinalists (but without earning NPR points) are Chirag Choudhary (Unionville, PA), Caleb Chung (Pine Creek, CO), Harrison Gover (Bowling Green, KY), Arjun Raman (Westwood, TX), and Alex Sorgini (La Salle, PA).

Just a week later was the third-tier Yale Invitational, typically hosted by Yale University but held online for the second consecutive year. Here, 2020 Yale Champion and seventh-place NPR finisher McKinley Paltzik (Phoenix Country Day, AZ) defended her title by beating out Daniel Kind by two ranks. In third place was Charles Hou (Plano West Sr., TX), who was also appearing in his second consecutive Yale final round. In fourth place was Cameron Roberts (Jack C. Hays, TX), who won the final round but saw her cumulative rankings drag her down somewhat. Peter Alisky (Smoky Hill, CO) continued his streak of success by finishing in fifth, and Vikram Sundaram joined Kind in finaling back-to-back to claim sixth place.

Semifinalists (each earning 250 points) are: Dev Ahuja, James Cullen (Chaminade, NY), Cindy De Dianous (Scarsdale, NY), Mukta Dharmapurikar (Durham, NC), Michelle Park (Solon, OH), and Alex Sorgini.

Lastly, the Duke Invitational was held from October 1st through October 3rd on NSDA Campus in place of Duke University for the second consecutive year. The second fifth-tier of the season, this year’s tournament saw Daniel Kind winning his second tournament in just four weeks with a strong final round performance. Peter Alisky finished just one rank behind Kind to place second. In third place was Chirag Choudhary, who beat Chloe Yang (Ridge, NJ) and Elizabeth Wong (Durham, NC) on recips to push Yang to fourth place and Wong to fifth. Rounding out the final round was Elliot Smith (Milton Academy, MA) in sixth.

Semifinalists (but without earning NPR points) are Jr Cobb (Cary Academy, NC), Kyle Letterer (Plano West Sr., TX), Kevin Li (Ridge, NJ), Neha Modak (Milton Academy, MA), Michelle Park, Eli Seiden (Western, FL), Alex Sorgini, Zachary Pan (Washington International, DC), and Karam Weigert (Woodrow Wilson, DC).

Congratulations to all who competed during the month of September!

You can find results from the UK Season Opener here.

You can find results from Yale here.

You can find results from Duke here.

You can find current standings and more info on the NPR here.

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