Chesterton Tribune



CHS Debate team wins State for third straight year

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For the third season in a row, the Chesterton High School debate team finished the year on top. This year was a heavyweight title fight between Chesterton and West Lafayette with Chesterton winning by the score of 97 to 85.5. Valparaiso came in third overall with 49.5 points overall.

Chestertonís lone title came in the policy debate division. Tim Vincent and Joel Peterson managed to successfully defend their state title from last year by defeating their teammates Connor Wantuch and Adam Myers in the final round. Although individuals have been able to win back to back titles with different partners, only Chestertonís Mark Jensen and Corey Amundson were able to remain as partners and win back to back policy championships; an accomplishment that was featured in the 1989-1990 seasons.

Coach Chris Lowery explained that the target on a defending state champion makes it incredibly difficult to repeat. ďEvery team knew that Tim and Joel were the team to beat and had all year to prepare for them. Myers and Wantuch were more of a surprise to the rest of the state.Ē The highest seed for Chesterton after prelims, they defeated teams from Valpo, Penn, and West Lafayette before faltering in the final round.

Chestertonís two other teams ended up in the top 16 as Octafinalists. Eddie Young and Sam Guiterrez fell to a team from Valpo, while Nate Poczekay and Fred Owens lost to LaPorte.

Nearly 40% of the teamís total points came from Public Forum. Hunter Warren and Eric Richardson ended their debate careers as the state runner-up. They were defeated by the champions from West Lafayette, Arjun Ramani and Claire Hazbun, by a 3 -2 decision. Ramani and Hazbun were the only team that seemed capable of defeating Chesterton. Kevin Jugovic and Eli Winski fell to them in Quarters on a 2-1 decision, followed by Hayden Hodge and Mark Wilcox on a 2 -1 decision in semifinals. Victoria Bain and Nate Scheerer were defeated by Warren/Richardson in the other semifinal. ďItís tough coming so close to an individual state title, but we are incredibly proud of being able to work together and see each one of our teamís finish in the top five overall,Ē said Coach Lowery.

Congressional debate results were full of Chesterton names as well. After all four of Chestertonís debaters made it to final round, they worked together to boost all of their profiles. Creighton Gaff finished in fourth overall, followed by Megan Daye in sixth, Mitchell Reynolds in seventh, and Natalle Kezy in fifteenth overall. Congress was the largest event at the tournament with nearly sixty competitors at the beginning of the tournament. Amber Tan of Valparaiso won the Congressional state title.

World School debate was held for the first time at the state tournament and although there are plenty of kinks to work out, the event looks like a keeper. Chesterton was only allowed to enter one team of five. The team of Josh Hogan, Sam Winski, Johny Mario, Ayesha Khan, and Paul Petro finished in third place as a semifinalist. They lost on a 2-1 decision to the eventual state champions from Fisherís High School.

Lincoln-Douglas debate was dominated by Brebeuf Jesuit Academy and West Lafayette. Katrina Balon and Camma Duhamell were both able to break out of prelims, but were defeated by West Lafayette in the Octafinal round. By the Quarterfinals, Brebeuf and West Lafayette had seven of the eight remaining competitors. The final round was won by Tom Sweeny from Brebeuf.

This is the debate teamís 26th state title and 17th in the last 20 years. Chesterton is coached by a number of teachers, former students and volunteers including Chris Lowery (Policy and Public Forum), Josh Coots (Lincoln-Douglas and Congressional), Dakota McCoy (Public Forum), and Tim Young (Congressional).

Also competing for Chesterton at the tournament were Quinlan Doolin and Hannah Geiss in Lincoln-Douglas. The team was assisted throughout the weekend by team members Nia Weems, Alexis Hoover, Ryan Day, Kaylinn Woolever, and Katelyn Balakir.

Jim Vincent, Katie Tymorek, Spencer Hadley, Kalina Smith, Savannah Tipton, Katherine Bolek, Mikaela Meyer, and Nadia Mario all served as judges for the team.



Posted 2/1/2016




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