Claremont Closes Out the Cypress College Invitational

At the Cypress College Invitational, Claremont emerged victorious, with a closeout between Alex Abarca & Angelo Thomas and teammates Edward Rumbos & Alex Walburg. Affirming the resolution, “The USFG should take action for the death of Jamal Kashoggi,” Abarca & Thomas and Rumbos & Walburg won their semifinal rounds against Northwood’s Manav Manivannan & Ekas Chawla on a 3-0 decision and San Dieguito’s Veronica Vilicich & Tate Oien on a 2-1 decision, respectively.

Taking place over December 8-9, the parliamentary division of the tournament featured 25 teams, a similar field size to previous years. However, differing from last year, parliamentary rounds were double flighted, an unexpected tabbing choice given the small number of teams entered.

While the tournament did its best to ensure that the resolutions were balanced on both sides, several competitors felt that the topics were definitely skewed and poorly written. “I felt as if the topics tended to be pretty one-sided, which unfortunately led to many topicality arguments and left little room for any substantive arguments,” said Los Osos’ Joseph Naseib.

Highly contested resolutions included, “This house believes that an unjust police force does more good than harm,” and the quarterfinals round topic, “Tariffs do more harm than good,” where round results were completely dominated by affirmative decisions.

Aside from troubles with resolutions, some competitors complained about the lack of experienced judges at the tournament. While Cypress college students understood the complexities of the issues being discussed, their lack of knowledge when it came to debate mechanics created a hurdle that most debaters were not accustomed to facing. “It felt as if a majority of the judges were granting the win to whichever team spoke the most eloquently and not of the merit of the arguments being made,” said Northwood’s Chloe Oh.

Past Cypress tournaments have gained a reputation for food among Southern California debaters, with greatly appreciated campus cafeteria options. This weekend, however, the cafeteria was mysteriously closed. Since the tournament did not provide any alternative food options, debaters turned to the local swap meet that takes place in the campus’ parking lot every weekend—a nice change of pace for competitors, some of whom bought mementos to remember the Cypress College Invitational by.

“Overall my favorite parts of the food in the past had been the cafeteria but after finding out it was closed, being exposed to the nearby market was a great experience and introduced me to many other delicious cuisines,” said Northwood’s Ekas Chawla.


Northwood Manav Manivannan & Ekas Chawla def. San Dieguito Ronan McDonnell & Eric Davies (2-1)

Claremont Edward Rumbos & Alex Walburg def. Los Osos Highschool Joseph Naseib & Anna Wang (2-1)

San Dieguito Veronica Vilicich & Tate Oien def. Claremont Charlie Warren & Sarah Pino (2-1)

Claremont Alex Abarca & Angelo Thomas def. Valley International Prep Anabelle Polak & Miles Morton (2-1)


Claremont Abarca & Thomas def. Northwood Manivannan & Chawla (3-0)

Claremont Rumbos & Walburg def. San Dieguito Vilicich & Oien (2-1)


Claremont AT and Claremont RW (closeout)