US Speech and Debate

Daniel Leonard, Staff Writer

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The Speech and Debate team is well under way in their season already having competed in four tournaments this year, the most recent being at the Kenyon College Forensics Classic on Saturday November 18th. The team had one of the most successful tournaments in recent years. In United States Extemporaneous Speaking, freshmen Brady Condon won 3rd place. In Informative Speaking, junior Tim Sullivan won 2nd place. In International Extemporaneous Speaking, freshmen Stefan Leonard won 4th place and senior team captain Rahul Jagetia won 2nd place. In Lincoln-Douglas debate, junior Calvin Chesler won 5th place, sophomore Saavan Patel won 3rd place and senior Isaiah Paik won 2nd place. In Dramatic Interpretation, junior Auryon Azar, a new addition to the team this year, won 1st place. And in Public Forum debate, the team of senior Akshat Chowksey and sophomore Sukhm Kang won 5th place, the team of senior Akash Salgia and junior Anish Ganesh won 2nd place and the team of junior Nate Mayor and junior Kiran Krishnamurthi won 1st place.

Not only were the individual successes of the team members great but also in the overall team sweepstakes. The US Speech and Debate team won first place out of all the schools competing at this tournament for the first time in 3 years. The team was awarded a first place trophy for their accomplishments that they presented to the Lincoln Douglass Debate coach, Mr. Lewis, whose alma mater is Kenyon College.

Not only did our speakers and debaters receive awards, but also our head coach Mr. Paik. Mr. Paik brought home some hardware as he was recognized for the best coach award. The weekend could not have ended any better for the team as a whole, but now they have bigger goals in mind.

Nate Mayor and Kiran Krishnamurthi, Public Forum debators, and LD debater Isaiah Paik earned their fourth bids and are prequalified for states. The rest of the team will soon follow in their footsteps, as there has already been tremendous success.

In past years the debate teams have carried the speech teams at tournaments and at different competitions. This is partly because all those who did not make the debate team would join the speech team for one year, mostly freshmen, and wait until they could try out for a spot on next year’s debate team. But the main reason the speech team dragged down the entire team in past years is because not many members took it seriously. Fortunately, there has been a positive change in attitude and discipline this year. With the hiring of a new speech coach, Ren Weeden, the recent inflow of new freshmen to the team, and the speech teams new success last season, there has been a newfound excitement among the team.

This season will be one of the most successful seasons for the US Speech and Debate team.

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