The National Forensic League’s qualifying district debate tournament was
held this past weekend at Penn High School. Five qualifying spots for the
national tournament, held this year in Birmingham, Alabama, were still
available. Chesterton came home with four of them.
In Public Forum debate, a partnered event, the team of Jessica Ratel-Khan
and Ronald Kovach along with the team of McKenzie Richardson and Hannah
Vasquez won the qualifying berths. The topic debated was whether the Supreme
Court decision in Citizens United has improved our election process.
In the solo event of Lincoln-Douglas, Eric Dreischerf won the qualification
tournament. The other spot went to Madison Reed, of Fort Wayne Carroll high
school. The students debated whether the focus of the criminal justice
system should be predicated on rehabilitation or retribution.
In the partnered event of Policy debate, Simon Andrews and Zach Bogich
qualified for the national tournament after debating ways in which the US
could fund investment in our transportation system.
Chesterton won the overall team sweepstakes award, with Fort Wayne Carroll
coming in second place, followed by Fort Wayne Southside. This will be
Dreischerf’s third consecutive national tournament and his second
competition in the event of Lincoln-Douglas. All other qualifiers will be
attending the national tournament for the first time.
Although there are a limited number of qualification spots, the rest of the
Chesterton team performed extremely well, oftentimes representing the
toughest competition to the eventual winners. Receiving awards and
recognition in Policy debate were Emily Percifield and Kaley Brown (1st
alternates), Elaine Tagert and Humaira Khan (3rd), and Nadia Mario and
Katherine Bolek (4th).
In Lincoln-Douglas, Corinne Leopold (2nd alternate), Nick Peterson (6th),
and Don Reinert (7th) all placed.
In Public Forum, Taryn Trusty and Miranda Whah (3rd) and Savannah Tipton and
Matt Eggers (5th) received awards.
This was Chesterton’s fourth tournament in January, some of the highlights
from earlier in the month included Tim Vincent and Joel Peterson winning
three straight Novice Debate tournament championships. Mario and Bolek went
undefeated at the IUN tournament. The Public Forum teams of Whah and Trusty
went undefeated at the Plymouth Tournament, while Kovach and Ratel-Khan were
undefeated at the IUN and Ben Davis Tournaments. In Lincoln-Douglas, Galen
Wong, Christopher Krause, and Brad Moore placed first, second, and third in
the IUN open division. In the varsity division, Dreischerf, Abby Burke, and
Leopold accomplished the same feat.
There are two more qualifying tournaments later this year, one for
Congressional debate and one for Speech. Next week the team travels to
Kokomo for the State debate tournament. Chesterton has won five consecutive
state titles as a team.