Bells Speech & Debate Tops in the Country | Bellarmine College Preparatory Skip to main content


More About Bellarmine...

Admissions Process

Academic Achievements


Calendar of Events

Employment Opportunities





Dads of

Bells Speech & Debate Tops in the Country

S&D 2021

Having just competed in the Nationals, Bellarmine’s Speech and Debate team received the Award of Outstanding Distinction for the third consecutive year. The honor is given to the top 10 schools in terms of overall sweepstakes points across both speech and debate. Coach Aaron Langerman ‘11 notes: “To give a sense of how impressive this performance is, last summer we earned about 80 sweepstake points across the events. This summer, we received 184 points – so we more than doubled our overall sweepstake points from last year. While the NSDA {National Speech & Debate Association} does not release the rankings of 1-10th place for overall school sweepstakes, after manually calculating the scores, Xavier confirmed: Bellarmine is the top ranked team in the entire country!”

Bells Adarsh Hiremath ’21 and Surya Midha ‘21 won the final round of policy debate and are National Champions! “These two have undoubtedly had the most impressive policy debate career of any team in Bellarmine history by winning three of the most competitive national debate tournaments: the National Debate Coaches Association (NDCA), the Tournament of Champions (TOC), and the NSDA Nationals,” noted Langerman. “Bellarmine has never won the NDCA or the TOC until this year and the only time we ever won NSDA Nationals in policy debate was in 2006 with Dylan Groves ’06 and Matt Grimes ‘06. Adarsh and Surya will officially go down in history as BCP Speech and Debate legends.”

Also noteworthy is the performance by Veer Juneja ’22, who will be team president next year, as he came close to being a national champion and achieved 2nd Place in Congressional Debate (the Senate).

Bellarmine also earned the Bruno E. Jacobs Award, which is given to the school who has the greatest number of cumulative rounds at the national tournament across the years. Bellarmine has earned 2110 total cumulative points across the years which, Langerman informs us, places us as the top school with cumulative NSDA sweepstakes points.

Below are the full results of what were historical performances:

Policy Debate:

  • Adarsh Hiremath '21 and Surya Midha '21 – National Champions
  • Akhil Iyengar '22 and Ram Gorthi '22 – 8th place - Auto-qualifier to next year’s NSDA Nationals
  • Brendan Foody '21 and Avi Upadhyayula '21 – 10th place
  • Ben Manens '22 and Nimai Talur '22 – Top 40

In addition, Bellarmine won the overall sweepstakes award for best policy debate performance at the tournament. “Huge shoutouts here need to go to Ani Prabhu ’16, who has been coaching now for five years since he graduated and has been instrumental to inspiring our debaters and making BCP debate as robust as it is,” noted Langerman. “None of our debate achievements in the past few years would have been possible without Ani – he will be sorely missed as he steps down this year to begin his career, but the future of BCP debate looks bright with Tyler Vergho ’19, who won the National Debate Tournament (the most competitive college debate tournament) this year, continuing to coach debate and both Adarsh and Surya joining our ranks to help coach our debaters!”

Congressional Debate:

  • Veer Juneja '22 – 2nd place (Senate) – Auto-qualifier to next year’s NSDA Nationals
  • Rishi Dinesh '23 – Finalist (House) – Auto-qualifier to next year’s NSDA Nationals
  • Alex Grabowski '23 – Semifinalist (House)
  • Neal Dwivedula '23 – Quarterfinalist (House)

Coach Langerman again conveys kudos to Veer’s leadership this year on “transforming our Congressional Debate team into one of the most competitive in the entire country. We won the 2nd place sweepstakes award for best Congress squad at the tournament!”

International Extemp:

  • Ashok Ramkumar '21 – 9th place
  • Ryan Alappatt '22 – Top 30
  • Majid Shabbeer '22 – Top 60

National Extemp:

  • Kush Narang '22 – 7th place – Auto-qualifier to next year’s NSDA Nationals!
  • Owen Thompson '22 – Top 60

“As always, huge props to DeeDee Sullivan on yet another incredible extemp performance,” noted Langerman. “Having five students break to late elimination rounds and having two of them in the top 10 has reaffirmed what has been clear all year: BCP extemp is one of the top squads in the country.”

Public Forum:

  • Nihaal Konda '23 and Arnav Dhingra '23 – Top 64

World Schools:

  • Nihaar Charagulla '22 – Top 64

Original Oratory:

  • John Xu '22 – Top 30

Congratulations to Bellarmine’s Speech and Debaters and coaches: Aaron Langerman ’11, DeeDee Sullivan, Matt DeLateur ‘12, Vern Cleary, Johny Hong, Ani Prabhu ’16, Xavier Liu ’17, Tyler Vergho ’19.