School once again swept the Northeast Indiana District, qualifying ten
students to the National Speech and Debate Association’s tournament in June.
tournament serves as the qualifying tournament for the largest academic
competition in the country and contestants must finish in the top two spots
in order to advance. The three debate events of Lincoln-Douglas (LD), Public
Forum (PF), and Policy were held this weekend.
Hannah Geiss and
Katrina Balon were the qualifiers in Lincoln-Douglas debate. The topic for
the tournament is whether ‘Public colleges and universities in the United
States ought to restrict any constitutionally protected speech.’ As is true
in all of the events, the students must argue both sides of the resolution
throughout the tournament.
Geiss is a junior
who has qualified to the national tournament all three years of her high
school debate career. This is her first time qualifying in Lincoln-Douglas
debate as she had previously qualified in Congressional debate and
Extemporaneous speaking. Balon is a senior making her second consecutive
appearance at the national tournament in LD.
Camma Duhamell came
in third making her the first alternate and teammate Madi Ghoreshi came in
fifth overall. Public Forum is a two person team event that debated the
topic “In order to better respond to international conflicts, the United
States should significantly increase its military spending.”
The team of Mark
Wilcox and Hayden Hodge as well as the team of Nate Scheerer and Katelyn
Balakir took the qualification spots to nationals. Wilcox and Hodge, both
seniors, have each qualified for the past three years. The team went to
nationals and made it to the top thirty in the nation last year. Their
sophomore year, Wilcox was a qualifier in Policy debate and Hodge qualified
in Extemporaneous speaking. Scheerer competed at the national tournament
last year as the alternate, after his current partner, Balakir, was unable
to attend. This year will be Balakir’s first trip to the national
tournament, she is a junior at CHS. Grace Whah and Zach Mullins were the
third place team at the tournament.
Sydney Ghoreshi and
Keagan Wong, both seniors, were the first team to qualify in Policy debate.
They will be joined by sophomore Dustin Bucher and freshman Madison Simms.
Policy debate has spent the entire year debating political and economic
engagement with the People’s Republic of China.
All of the policy
debaters will attend the national tournament for the first time. Matt
Jewison and Nate Jimenez came in fourth overall.
Next weekend the
team travels to Kokomo High School in search of a fourth consecutive state
championship. The debate team is coached by social studies teachers Chris
Lowery and Josh Coots as well as a former competitors turned coaches Dakota
McCoy and Kaley Brown.