The Chesterton Speech and Debate team competed in its 41st consecutive
National Forensic League national tournament last week in Indianapolis.
Chesterton is one of only a handful of schools to have attended the national
tournament as often, and this is the third time Indiana has hosted the
national tournament. Nearly 1,000 schools and more than 2,500 students
competed in the week-long tournament, billed as the “Brickyard Nationals.”
Fourteen CHS students in eight events competed in the national event.
Seniors Andrew Hogan and Jack McCrum advanced to the octafinals before being
eliminated. Each event began the week with over 200 students from across the
country. The top 60 then broke to the elimination rounds. Hogan (in Humor)
and McCrum (Lincoln/Douglas) both finished somewhere in the top 60.
Several students then moved on to supplemental or consolation events after
being eliminated from their main event. Kaylee Oates advanced the furthest,
competing in storytelling and making it to quarterfinals. Hogan also
advanced through four rounds of prose before elimination.
“We had a great week, and while we would have liked to have gone further in
the competition, we feel like we learned a great deal. The students worked
hard and seven of our fourteen participants will be back next year,” said
coach Bob Kelly.
In addition to competing, the team also helped with hosting. Several of the
coaches helped with merchandising and the service project during the week,
along with their judging duties. On Tuesday assistant coaches Sam Marshall
and Diana Gill brought a group of 14 volunteers from the CHS team to work
concessions and the information table.
Competing in the tournament but not advancing were policy debaters Justin
Reed (12) and Jon Vincent (12); public forum debaters Nikita Chawla (12) and
Christian O’Brien (11), as well as Summer Tipton (12) and Salman Lakhani
(10). Also competing in the congressional senate was sophomore Mikaela
Meyer. In speech Jennifer Kattalia (11) and Mike Leopold (12) competed in
original oratory, juniors Sharon Coleman and Kaylee Oates in duo, and junior
Eric Dreischerf in U.S. extemporaneous speaking.
Coaches Bob Kelly, Chris Lowery, Doug Pishkur, Scott Woodhouse, and Kirsten
Reed were joined by parent James Vincent, and former students Mike Hadley
and Samantha Kattalia in helping judge at the tournament.