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2021-22 National Points Race, January/February Update: Kind takes Sunvite and Barkley Forum, Zavarro wins Harvard, Frank Mc-Pheter, Olakangil, Ververis, Chien, Sistla, and Vandenburg take wins

Welcome to the fourth update for the 2021-22 National Points Race! In this edition, we discuss changes made to the Points Race in regards to replacing the Stanford Invitational, and cover the results from Sunvitational, the Cavalier Invitational, the James Logan MLK Invitational, Barkley Forum, Harvard, Palm Classic, and the Cal Invitational.

January and February were incredibly busy months for the extemp circuit, and included some top tier tournaments. The year started off with the Sunvitational tournament, a tier four tournament. Topping the tournament was Glenbrooks champion and Points Race leader Daniel Kind (Lake Highland Prep, FL), earning himself 600 points. Closely behind were Praveen Kumar (Hawken, OH) and Jack Ververis (Trinity Prep, FL) in second and third place respectively, with both speakers tying in ranks for the final round. In fourth and fifth place were Faye Zhang (Eastview, MN) and Michelle Park (Solon, OH), earning themselves 400 and 350 points respectively. Rounding out the final round at Sunvitational was Elizabeth Wong (Durham, NC), earning 300 points towards the Points Race for the sixth place finish.

Semifinalists at the Sunvitational all earned 125 points each towards the Points Race. Semifinalists included Agrim Joshi (Shakopee, MN), Theodore Gercken (College Prep, CA), Emma Wu from the Taipei American School, Nicholas Blauz (Nova, FL), Olivia Wetzel (Whitmer, OH), and Jason Yi (Thomas Jefferson, VA).

The James Logan MLK Invitational was held from the 14th through the 16th, and is a Tier 5 tournament. With competition being split between National and International Extemp, as per Points Race policies, speakers will be awarded points based on their best performance in the event of double entry. Starting with National Extemp, the final round saw some familiar faces from the national circuit. Winning the event was Gabriel Frank-McPheter (Gabrielino, CA), earning 400 points for the Points Race, who beat out Swadesh Sistla (Modern Brain, CA), who earned second in the event. In third and fourth were William Chien (Harker, CA) and Alex Ali (Archbishop Mitty, CA), earning 250 and 200 points respectively. In fifth place was the only competitor from outside of California: Nathan Tamkin (George Washington, CO), earning 150 points, while also earning seventh in international extemp. Rounding out the final round in sixth and seventh places were Theodore Gercken (College Prep, CA), and Frank-McPheter’s teammate, Luccia Yacoub, who earned 100 points their sixth place finish in international extemp.

For international extemp, additional finalists include Francis Olakangil (Bellarmine College Prep, CA), who topped the final round. Following Olakangil were Vansh Mathur (Cupertino, CA) and Chien’s teammate Michelle Jin (Harker, CA). Earning themselves 200 and 150 points were Olakangil’s teammate Arnav Sunil and Abby Wallach (Miramonte, CA) in fourth and fifth place respectively. In sixth and seventh place, rounding out the final round, were domestic extemp finalists Nathan Tamkin and Luccia Yacoub. Given that the James Logan MLK Invitational is a tier 5 tournament, no points were awarded to semifinalists.

The same weekend as the James Logan MLK Invitational, the Cavalier Invitational was held. Given the recency of this tournament’s entry into the national circuit, the tournament remains a tier 5 tournament. The final round saw some more familiar faces, including Sunvite finalist Jack Ververis topping the tournament and Sunvite champion Daniel Kind earning third place. In second place was Kyle Letterer (Plano West, TX), who currently stands in the top five for our Points Race. In fourth was fellow Texan Katherine Peckham (Westwood, TX), earning 200 points. Rounding out the final round in fifth and sixth were Amy Cao (Ridge, NJ) and Isabel Brittin (Potomac, VA), earning 150 and 100 points respectively.

To round out the busy month of January, the Barkley Forum hosted by Emory University was held the weekend starting on the 28th. This tournament was a tier 4 tournament. Championing the tournament was Daniel Kind yet again, continuing his streak of consistency, and earning himself 600 additional points. In second place was Gabriel Bo (Plano West, TX), followed by fellow Texan Natasha Banga (Coppell, TX) in third place. Marc Zavarro (Western, FL) sat in fourth, earning 400 points. Cavalier finalist Kyle Letterer and James Logan MLK finalist Theodore Gercken rounded out the final round, earning fifth and sixth respectively.

Semifinalists at the Barkley Forum each earned 125 points for the Points Race, and included Florence Zhu (Mission San Jose, CA), Karam Weigert (Woodrow Wilson, DC), William Chien, Alex Sorgini (La Salle, PA), Samarth Mannikeri (Pennsbury, PA), and Praveen Kumar.

With the Stanford Invitational giving their TOC bids to the Palm Classic, we have decided to replace Stanford with the Palm Classic for this season. As a result, the Palm Classic will be treated as a tier 5 tournament. The tournament started on February 12th, marking the first Points Race tournament of the month. Starting with International Extemp, the top two were James Logan MLK finalists William Chien and Vansh Mathur, earning 400 and 300 points respectively. In third place was Lakshya Chaudhry (VDA, Vancouver), followed by Michelle Jin. Rounding out the final round were Thomas Vandenburg (Flintridge Prep, CA), and James Logan finalist Luccia Yacoub.

On the domestic side, yet another James Logan finalist won the event, with Swadesh Sistla taking gold. Following closely behind were Gabriel Frank-McPheter and William Chien in second and third place respectively, with Chien earning no points given his better performance in international extemp. Barkley Forum semifinalist Florence Zhu placed fourth, earning 200 points. In fifth and sixth place were Tej Patel (Velásquez, CA) and Joy Hu (Harker, CA), earning 150 and 100 points respectively. Once again, with the Palm Classic being a tier 5 tournament, semifinalists did not earn any points.

The Cal Invitational hosted by the University of California Berkeley was held the weekend of February 19th, and was a tier 3 tournament. Championing the tournament was Palm Classic finalist Thomas Vandenburg, followed by William Chien earning second. In third was Majid Shabbeer (Bellarmine College Prep, CA), followed by Natasha Banga, earning themselves 675 and 600 points respectively. James Logan champion Francis Olakangil earned fifth, followed by Akul Murthy (Lynbrook, CA) earning sixth and rounding out the final round.

Semifinalists at the Cal Invitational all earned 250 points, and included Shabbeer’s teammates Ryan Alappatt, Tyler Pineda, and Kush Narang, followed by Kashish Priyam (Harker, CA), Atmaja Patil (Monta Vista, CA), and Adarsh Gupta (St. Francis, CA). Quarterfinalists at the Cal Invitational also earned 100 points towards the points race.

The same weekend as the Cal Invitation marked the start of perhaps the most anticipated tournament of the month, the Harvard Invitational. This tier 2 tournament consistently draws the top competition from the country, and is known to be the largest tournament excluding national tournaments. Championing the tournament was Barkley Forum finalist Marc Zavarro, beating out MBA invitees Katelyn Cai (BASIS Scottsdale, AZ) and Daniel Kind, who earned second and third respectively. These competitors each earned 1200, 1000, and 900 points respectively. In fourth place was Iesh Gujral (Eden Prairie, MN), earning 800 points. Rounding out the final round in fifth and sixth place respectively were Sunvite finalist Jack Ververis and James Logan MLK champion Gabriel Frank-McPheter.

Semifinaling at Harvard awarded competitors 450 points. These competitors included teammates Gabriel Bo and Phoena Lin (Plano West, TX), Nathan Zhou (Centennial, TX), Shreyas Sriram (Cherry Creek, CO), Kevin Li (Ridge, NJ), and Rishika Bansal (Scarsdale, NY). Quarterfinalists at Harvard earned 250 points each, while Octofinalists also earned 100 points each.

As the season continues, we head into weeks leading to the toughest competition in the season, including many national tournaments and the TOC tournaments.

Full results for Sunvitational can be found here

Full results for the James Logan MLK Invitational can be found here

Full results for the Palm Classic can be found here

Full results for the Cal Invitational can be found here

Full results for Harvard can be found here

Full results to the National Points Race can be found here

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