Chesterton Tribune



Chesterton qualifies ten for national debate tourney

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Chesterton High School once again swept the Northeast Indiana District, qualifying ten students to the National Speech and Debate Association’s tournament in June.

The district 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.



Posted 1/23/2017




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