TOC XL Trivia: Westminster Wins Third Consecutive Championship

The 40th Tournament of Champions was held this past weekend at the University of Kentucky. Capping off a historic run, the Westminster Schools claimed its third consecutive championship by defeating Lexington High School’s Tyler Engler and Arjun Vellayappan in the final round. Interested in digging a little deeper into the results from this year’s TOC? Some historical perspective and trivia is below the fold.

Back-to-Back(-to-Back) Championships

The Westminster Schools’ Ellis Allen and Daniel Taylor became the second partnership in TOC history to win back-to-back championships. In 1975 and 1976, Cardinal Spellman High School’s John Bredehoft (this year’s Breakfast of Champions keynote speaker) and Leo Gagion became the first to accomplish this feat.

Only one other individual has won two TOCs: Lake Braddock High School’s Mike Green won the championship in 1984 with Shaun Martin and repeated as champion in 1985 with Joe Pettit.

Others have been close:

The Bronx High School of Science’s Andrew Berman won the TOC in 1979 as a junior while debating with Herschel Goldfield and finished as runner-up in 1980 alongside partner Stuart Weich.

Lexington High School’s Steve Lehotsky won the TOC in 1994 as a junior with Li-Cheng Wang and finished in second place in 1995 with Matt Nichols.

Westminster’s Stephen Weil won the TOC as a sophomore in 2005 with Anusha Deshpande and lost in finals two years later as a senior in 2007 with Anshu Sathian. Anshu won the TOC in 2009 with Rajesh Jegadeesh.

The closest a partnership has come to a repeat prior to this season was College Prep’s Eli Anders and Michael Burshteyn: they won the TOC as juniors in 2003 and lost in the finals in 2004.

With the win, Westminster became the first school in TOC history to win back-to-back-to-back championships. They had already joined a short list of back-to-back champions that includes Cardinal Spellman (‘75-76), Oak Park-River Forest (‘82-83), and Lake Braddock (‘84-85).

Three Time Qualifiers

Four students in the class of 2011 debated at three TOCs: Pablo Gannon from Damien High School, Lee Quinn from Mountain Brook High School, and Ellis Allen and Daniel Taylor from the Westminster Schools.

Pablo Gannon — Damien
2009 — 4-3 (with Eric Berggren)
2010 — 3-4 (with Reid Ehrlich-Quinn)
2011 — 6-1 (with Nadeem Farooqi) + semifinals
Total: 13-8, 2-1, 15-9

Lee Quinn — Mountain Brook
2009 — 2-5 (with Gabrielle Tandet)
2010 — 3-4 (with Kevin Jiang)
2011 — 5-2 (with Evan McCarty) + octafinals
Total: 10-11, 0-1, 10-12

Ellis Allen & Daniel Taylor — Westminster
2009 — 4-3
2010 — 7-0 (champion)
2011 — 6-1 (champion)
Total: 17-4, 8-0, 25-4

16 Seed Upsets

Kinkaid’s victory in the octafinals over Beacon was the third such upset since 1995 and the second by a 17th seed run-off round winner. In 1995, 16th seeded Glenbrook North upset the top seed from T.A. Edison. In 2003, 17th seeded Westminster defeated 16th seeded Grady in the run-off round and then upset top seeded Georgetown Day in the octafinals.

First From Their State

Two states made their first appearance in the elimination rounds at the TOC since 1995: Alabama and Missouri. Mountain Brook’s Evan McCarty and Lee Quinn were the first team from the Yellowhammer State to reach the elims while Pembroke Hill’s Thomas Hodgman and Mihir Vedantam became the first Show Me State duo to accomplish the feat. Both teams were defeated in the octafinals.

First From Their School

Four schools cleared at the TOC for the first time: Beacon, Homewood-Flossmoor, Mountain Brook, and Pembroke Hill. Three schools also ended elim droughts: College Prep reached the elimination rounds for the first time since 2005, Dallas Jesuit reached the elims for the first time since 2001, and Georgetown Day reached the elims for the first time since 2006.

School Streaks

Glenbrook North extended their streak of elimination round appearances to six while Glenbrook South, Kinkaid, Westminster, and Woodward extended their streaks to three. Carrollton, Lexington, and St. Mark’s rounded out the list of schools with back-to-back appearances in the elimination rounds.

School Elimination Round Appearances

Glenbrook North and Greenhill have reached the elimination rounds in 16 of the last 17 seasons with Greenhill edging GBN in total teams in the elims, 23-22. Lexington qualified its 16th team to the elims while Glenbrook North and Westminster qualified their thirteenth, Woodward its twelfth, and College Prep its tenth.

Glenbrook North reached the semifinals for the eighth time since 1995, one more than any other school. Greenhill is second with seven followed by Lexington and Westminster with six.

Win Leaderboard

With two more elimination round wins, Glenbrook North has edged in front of Greenhill for the top spot since 1995 with 28. Greenhill remains second with 26 but Westminster is close behind with 25. Rounding out the top five are Lexington with 17 and College Prep with 14.

State Leaderboard

Texas qualified four teams for the elimination rounds for the tenth time since 1995, by far the most of any other state. Texas and Illinois both extended their streak of consecutive tournaments with at least one team in the elimination rounds; at least two teams from Texas have reached the elims every year since 1995. Other active state streaks include Georgia (thirteen years in a row including twelve years in a row with at least two teams in the elims), New York (four years in a row), Florida (two years in a row), and Massachusetts (two years in a row). Texas has cleared 60 teams since 1995; Illinois is second with 48 followed by Georgia with 41 and California with 28.

Coaching Leaderboard

Jenny Heidt coached her fifth TOC champion, second most in tournament history behind only Ted Belch. Heidt coached the 2002 champion from Pace Academy and the 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2011 champions from Westminster. Belch racked up six championships: 1974 and 1978 for Walter Panas, 1981 for Glenbrook South, and 1996, 2001, and 2004 for Glenbrook North.

23 thoughts on “TOC XL Trivia: Westminster Wins Third Consecutive Championship

  1. Cayman Giordano

    "Only one other individual has won two TOCs: Lake Braddock High School’s Mike Green won the championship in 1984 with Shaun Martin and repeated as champion in 1985 with Joe Pettit.
    Others have been close:"

    Anshu Sathian should probably be mentioned here, beyond just one of Stephen Weil's final rounds.

      1. Whit

        'Cause the article does mention that she both one and was in the finals:

        "Westminster’s Stephen Weil won the TOC as a sophomore in 2005 with Anusha Deshpande and lost in finals two years later as a senior in 2007 with Anshu Sathian. Anshu won the TOC in 2009 with Rajesh Jegadeesh."

      1. mcihael

        this is useful. I like how the announcer at the beginning uses the word "irregardless". Lol, who is this.

  2. anon

    "Four students in the class of 2011 debated at three TOCs: Pablo Gannon from Damien High School, Lee Quinn from Mountain Brook High School, and Ellis Allen and Daniel Taylor from the Westminster Schools."

    It should also be pointed out that both Mercer Island debaters who qualled this year also qualled their sophmore and junior years.

  3. mcihael

    lol, where does bb find the time to do this! Westmonster is super impressive-considering how many things can go wrong in a debate tournament/round.

  4. bobbie

    These kids are talented for sure, but i just wanted to shout out to the small schools who did well at the toc, i mean obviously talent is one thing, but you gotta admit, westminster has like 20 ppl cutting them cards, not that this takes away from the intelligence of the two debaters, it just raises an interesting point

    1. mcihael

      i feel like this exact same comment was on last years' toc results page. I agree with giving shout outs to small teams and schools (regardless of if they did well) because as someone from a small school (with basically no coaching) the task to do well becomes much more difficult. However, wesminster definitely doesn't have 20 ppl cutting them cards. It doesn't raise an interesting point, because it is a point that has been visited so many times before and there has obviously been no conclusion. Money, coaching, and overall resrources help but it comes down to execution and hard work. If you're point is true then every private school should have broken at the TOC, if your point was true then teams with just as many resources as westminster should have beat them, but they didnt.

    2. rlevkov

      I must be really bored to decide to engage in this but this comment is uneducated and frustrating because….
      1.) 90 percent of the toc is won before the tournament not after. Pre tournament preparation is vital, see last year's how to prep for a national championship podcast about that.
      2.) This topic was pretty crappy, new argument development was minimal and pretty bad for the most part. Minus the array of counterfactual affs that got broken nothing was totally out there or stuff people weren't ready for in part.
      3.) The entourage is overrated- If you are a front runner to win the toc, you will almost always be the recipient of new args (affs, das, strats etc) the entourage might be effective and preparing politics links, adv cps and case args vs new affs broken in other debates, but there is no guarantee you will use that stuff. There are 72 teams at the toc doing stuff, you will be negative at most 8 times, if you do the math, the entourage cuts alot of cards that will never be used.
      4.) the debaters still have to do the debating. I am as much of a hater as anyone, but in 2 years at the toc, Ellis and Daniel had to go through Chatahoochie, Kinkaid, Bronx, St. Marks, Greenhill, CPS, GBN, and Lexington to win, and did so.

      Now don't get me wrong, resource disparity makes a HUGE difference in debate.

      That difference is exemplified more so in things like travel opportunities which effects the rate at which debaters develop. Resource disparities also often mean that some kids with potential don't have the coaching or help to break through and qualify for the TOC, but the entourage has a pretty marginal effect on success.

    3. mcihael

      okay, whoever posted this as "bobbie" is a total troll. I just checked last years TOC results page and someone just copy pasted the EXACT same tirade. I doubt its the same guy, just ignore this troll.

  5. anonymous

    Interesting statistic: GDS KL was the first GDS team to win an outround at the TOC since 1991 (when GDS was in finals and lost on topicality). This is remarkable because of the quality of GDS teams over the years. GDS BO did not lose a debate until the finals of the Glenbrooks in 1998, but still went out in the octos. GDS was the first seed in 2003 (Gentile and Luxemburg) and went out in the octos. In 2006, GDS won the Baker Award (Beauchamp and Brockway) and had another incredibly successful top ten team (Zagorin and Zainulbhai). The teams met in the octos, with BB walking over ZZ. BB lost in the quarters.

    So, curse successfully broken?

    1. Bill Batterman Post author

      Awesome trivia — thanks for sharing that. Congratulations again to Joe and Ben (and to their teammates and coaches) for a great run.

  6. Josh Brown

    Random factoid re: 16 seed upsets – that GBN team that upset TA Edison in 1995 was also a rare 4-3 that cleared.

    Other than Chattahoochee in 2010 and GBN in 1995, are there other times 4-3's have cleared?

    1. Bill Batterman Post author

      The only other one I know of was 1996 —

      1995: Glenbrook North HW (Adam Hurder & Ian Wilbur)
      1996: Lexington BM (Adam Bund & Brandon Murakami)
      2010: Chattahoochee CR (Megan Cambre & Kaavya Ramesh)

      I'm still missing a few packets, though, so there could be one or two more.

  7. Hooman Jones

    Lest we forget….. It is not how many ppl cut your positions. It is who writes them. D Heidt = beast. As long as he’s at Westminster you can count them as having a great shot to be the best.

  8. LeeQuinn

    Speaking of 3 time qualifiers, this might be impossible, but what other partnerships have gone to the TOC 3 years in a row? Because to go to the TOC 3 times together is a feat in itself.

Comments are closed.