Westwood student tops competition at state debate contest

Westwood High School senior Saavan Nanavati topped the competition at the Texas Forensic Association State Speech and Debate Tournament as he became the first state champion in the history of Westwood.

Saavan won the championship in the Lincoln Douglas Debate, which began with 200 high school debate students. More than 2,000 students competed to qualify for the contest. The competition consisted of six preliminary rounds before crowning a champion.

“It feels pretty good to win first place, but also surreal because Westwood has never won a state tournament in the past,” Saavan said. “I like debate because it enables you to be a trained advocate on different things you wouldn’t normally encounter on a daily basis.”

Saavan plans to attend the University of Texas at Austin to major in computer science, but before he steps onto the college campus, he will serve as an intern in the office of Austin Mayor Steve Adler.

“Saavan has proven to be a leader and eloquent competitor in the Westwood Speech and Debate organization,” Westwood Principal Mario Acosta said. “We are proud to have our first state debate champion at Westwood and look forward to many more years of success for the organization.”