Kat Northrop ʼ27 (Los Angeles) and Jonah Daniels ʼ27 (Baltimore)

In yet another victory for Macalester Forensics, the Mac debate team started off the year strong with a first-place finish for Jonah Daniels ʼ27 (Baltimore) and Kat Northrop ʼ27 (Los Angeles) at Harvard’s 2023 Fall Tournament in the junior varsity division. 

“I’m proud of the hard work these students have put into this,” says Director of Forensics Beau Larsen. “We were debating a really unique issue, and they had the drive and endurance you need when doing the research and staying up-to-date with current events.” 

This year’s topic was about United States nuclear policy.

“It says a lot about how hard Mac students work to prepare for competition,” Larsen says. “It was their first college policy tournament, so to win the first tournament really just sets great footing for the rest of their debate careers at Macalester.”

After two days of competition (starting at 6 a.m. and going until 7 p.m.), the two first-years advanced to elimination rounds after six pre-elimination rounds, then to quarterfinals, semifinals, and finally, the final round. The team clinched their win against Samford University on the morning of October 30 after the taxing weekend. 

“It was a little stressful, and pretty tiring—one night we slept on the floor for only three hours—but that win made it all worth it,” says Daniels. “I had been uncertain about whether or not I wanted to continue debate in college, because all those hours take a toll—so being successful in our first tournament, at the start of our college careers? It was the best thing I could’ve asked for.” 

“It was awesome to come into college and start a new partnership with someone you work well with in debate rounds,” says Northrop. “Getting to sit with coaches and other teammates, enjoying wins and discussing losses, and feeling the support of the team was really meaningful for me. It feels really nice to find a space here that isn’t just about competing, but also about how the team feels like family.”

November 15 2023

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