Chesterton Tribune



CHS Debaters dominate district meet qualify 6 for nationals

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The Chesterton High School swept the North East Indiana District debate tournament taking all six qualifying spots to the NSDA National Tournament.

The celebration began with Policy debate. This two on two debate event has spent the entire season arguing about national education reform. Madison Simms and Sofia Winski went undefeated to take the tournamentís top spot. Matt Jewison and Ben Hoham were able to come in second place, a spot which also qualifies for nationals. JD Cory and Devin Michael finished third overall while the team of Ryan Donovan and Ethan Dibble came in fifth overall. This will be Simmís second consecutive year representing CHS at the National Tournament in policy debate. This is the first Nationals appearance for the other three qualifiers.

Chestertonís success continued in Lincoln-Douglas debate, a one-on-one event that is discussing the fairness of plea bargaining in our justice system. Hannah Geiss took the top spot at the tournament and will be joined at nationals by her senior class member Camma Duhamell, who came in second. This will be Geissís fourth consecutive National Tournament; a distinction that qualifiers her for a special award at the tournament. This is her second consecutive appearance in Lincoln-Douglas debate; she previously attended the national tournament in the events of Congressional Debate and International Extemporaneous speaking. Last year there were only forty students in the entire country that qualified each year of their high school debate career. This will be Duhamelís first appearance representing herself and Chesterton at nationals.

Elli Didonna came in third place and is the first alternate for the district while fellow CHS student Sam Winski came in fourth.

Chesterton also took the top two qualifying spots in Public Forum debate. This two on two debate event has spent the last month debating the merits of Catalonia earning its independence from Spain.

Katelyn Balakir and Grace Whah went undefeated to take the top tournament spot while teammates Zachary Mullins and Emily Krygoske defeated a team from Canterbury to claim the other spot. This is the third straight district title in Public Forum for the senior Balakir and will be her second consecutive trip to the national tournament.

It will be the first appearance at nationals for the other three who are all sophomores. Azeez Lakhani and Branden Wong came in fourth while the team of Bella Jennings and Salomae Minnear came in fifth.

The National Tournament is run by the National Speech and Debate Association and will be held towards the end of June in Fort Lauderdale Florida. The debate team is jointly coached by CHS staff members Joshua Coots, Dakota McCoy, and Chris Lowery.

Next weekend the team will finish its season at the IHSFA State tournament at Lafayette Jefferson High School. The tournament will feature five events; the three previously listed as well as Congressional Debate and World School debate. Thirty-two students have been named to the competition team for CHS, which will be trying for its fifth consecutive state title and twenty-eighth title overall.



Posted 1/22/2018




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