Ellis Chen ’20 and Simon Weiss ’20 Continue Their Policy Debate Success With Victory at Kanellis


Vince Woolums

Ellis Chen ’20 and Simon Weiss ’20 pose with their tournament trophies

Rhys Holman and Cole Washburn

Ellis Chen ‘20 and Simon Weiss ‘20 continued their successful season with a decisive win at the Kanellis Invitational debate tournament held at West High on February 21st.

“Individually, we got fourth and 10th [speaker awards],” said Chen. “Then, as a team, we won all of the elimination debates and won the tournament.”

Speaker awards are given to debaters based on their individual performances, as scored by judges throughout the competition. Despite their success, Chen and Weiss are continuing to look forward to their season.

“It was a smaller tournament than the last one we won, which was Blake, but it was a very fun tournament,” Chen said. “It’s the last real tournament that we have before the real national tournament starts.”

That national tournament is the Tournament of Champions, commonly referred to as the TOC—though looking forward to that tournament hasn’t prevented them from enjoying their recent victory.

“It was a pretty awesome weekend,” Weiss said. “It was something that we’ve been looking forward to all season. It’s nice to bring the trophy to City High.”

It was a common joke in the Iowa debate community to ask if Ellis (Chen) would be able to win Kanellis (pronounced Can-Ellis), which added additional enthusiasm to their victory.

“The question was can Ellis win Kanelis,” Chen said “We finally found the answer is yes.”