The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas


St. Mark's School of Texas
10600 Preston Road Dallas, TX 75230
The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas


The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas


Debate team competes on national level

Led by seniors Ashrit Manduva and Ahsan Tahirkheli, the team won many awards over the course of the school year

Accompanied by their head coach Tim Mahoney and alumni Max Chuang ‘22 and Zayn Bhimani ‘22, the debate team showed their prowess at the National Debate Coaches Association (NDCA) National Championships in Bloomington, Ind. 

This year marked a milestone with six teams—comprising 12 marksmen—qualifying for championships, breaking the school record. The teams demonstrated exceptional skill, with four of the seniors placing within the top 20 speakers of the tournament: Ashrit Manduva thirteenth speaker, Ahsan Tahirkheli twelfth speaker, Anish Guddati fifth speaker and Sid Bidare fourth speaker. 

In particular, Manduva and Tahirkheli advanced to the semifinals, beating fierce competition from Woodward Academy and Notre Dame High School. Their journey to this stage reflects years of hard work, ranking eighth nationally, making multiple appearances at the NDCA Tournament of Champions and winning the Grapevine Classic this year.

“The week before a major tournament, we’d invest three to four hours each night in card cutting and file organizing,” Manduva said, reflecting on their dedication.

Looking ahead to their collegiate careers, Tahirkheli plans to continue debating at his future alma mater Emory University, whereas Manduva remains open to exploring different debate formats.

“I think I’ll at least try policy debate, and if not policy, I’ll certainly be involved in some form of debate, whether that’s parliamentary, public forum, model UN, or something else,” Manduva said. 

However, even with his nationally-ranked seniors leaving, Mahoney is confident that the team will continue to win.

“I think that it’s always nice to have teams that are at the top of the national standings and things like that. And, we’ve had a lot of teams that do that,” Mahoney said. “we’re gonna have a strong basis to start, with our senior class–but we’ll also have some young kids coming up, that should be pretty good too.”

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