What was your debate tournament last weekend?
Mitchell: It was the Iowa Caucus Invitational which is a pretty big regular season tournament for the midwest national circuit. So there are a lot of big teams from Minnesota, Chicago, Iowa, and Nebraska, as well as Kansas and Missouri. And it was in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
What place did you get and did it come as a surprise to you?
Dinakar: We got second place [out of 80-100 teams] I was surprised. I did not think we would do this well. I thought we would at least get to quarterfinals.
Are you always this competitive and used to success in these big debates?
Mitchell: This year we are, it takes awhile to get to a point where you can be competitive regularly. As a freshman I would see all the big, nice, cool trophies in the debate room, and know all the seniors that were traveling around the country, and I always wanted to do that. So I always made sure to put in all the work.
What makes you two work so well together?
Mitchell: We have been together a lot but we did not always have the best working relationship. It takes awhile to learn how to work with someone and how to delegate the roles.
Dinakar: The other thing is that a lot of other schools, the coaches pick partnerships and they will just arbitrarily assign you to people. So you will just meet your partner on the first day of school. Where as here, our coach Mr. Witt lets us choose our partnerships, and I was friends with Spencer before we were debate partners. We are not just debate partners, we are friends who just happen to be debate partners.
What about your debate style makes you two successful?
Spencer: We are very open to ideas and adapting to judges more over the teams that we debate. Based on the judge and the team we are debating, we will change what we say and we are very flexible doing different things. That requires a lot more work but it pays off in the long run. Also we have the reputation of being very risky debaters, and I love having that reputation.