Chesterton Tribune



CHS debaters win State Debate Championship

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Chesterton High Schoolís debate team outscored rival West Lafayette, 81.5 to 67.5, to win the 2020 IHSFA State debate championship. This is the teamís 29th state championship since 1983 and avenges the half point loss last year that ended a streak of five titles in a row. The win was a team effort as no CHS debater had a losing record in prelims and the team outscored West Lafayette in four of the five events.

CHS juniors Ryan Donovan and Ethan Dibble won the individual title in the policy debate division. They amassed a perfect 6-0 record in prelims, won unanimous 3-0 decisions in quarters and semis and then defeated their CHS teammates Madison Simms and Gianna Galante via a 3-2 decision to claim the title.

Donovan and Dibble affirmed the resolution to end US arms sales by running a case that eliminated weapon deliveries to Bahrain and the Philippines over human rights conditions. Simms and Galante went 5-1 in prelims and also scored unanimous decisions in the first two elimination rounds before falling in the final round. This was Simmís second appearance in the final round after also coming in second in 2018. Based upon seeding, Simms and Galante were unfortunately forced to debate their teammates Mark Jewison and Milena Veltri who finished as quarterfinalists. This is the third consecutive and twenty-first overall time a CHS team has won the policy title.

Chesterton nearly claimed its first title in world school debate. Zoe Swanson, Elia Livovich, Cesar Mondragon, Owen Cowsert, and Gretta Burke advanced to the final round after a 5-1 preliminary record, a unanimous decision in quarters, and a 2-1 split decision that favored them in the semis. World school resolutions change every round as students have to prepare themselves right before the round begins; the final round related to whether the Constitution should be viewed through a lens of strict constructionism or whether we should look at the writings of the founding fathers as merely a starting point. Taking the latter position, the team came up just short against the competitors from Cathedral High School in Indianapolis to take state runners-up. This is the second time in the five year history of this event that CHS has had a state runner-up.

Sid Augustyn repeated his finish from the previous year, claiming fourth place in Congressional debate. Starting with sixty-six competitors, the competition was narrowed down to thirty for the semifinals and then to fifteen for the final round. Augustynís scores on the final round ballots were 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 7th. The topics debated in the final round involved protection of workplace whistleblowers, infrastructure in the US, and the appeal of a US-UK bilateral free trade agreement. Joining Augustyn in final round were Chestertonís Savannah Hutchinson and Peyton Day. Finn Babjak was a semifinalist.

Students run the congressional chamber through the parliamentary procedure rules adopted by the US Congress; students, as presiding officers, organize the chamber and determine who speaks when. Chestertonís Trina Gonzalez advanced to the final round via student vote and won the highest award that she was eligible for as ĎOutstanding Presiding Officer of the Senateí. Congressional debate saw a repeat winner from last year in Anna Gaston from Fishers High School.

Nathan Osborn, undefeated in prelims, and Bella Auricchio reached the quarterfinal (top eight) round of Lincoln-Douglas debate while Kylie Brickley was an octafinalist after being eliminated on a split decision in the round of sixteen. The debaters sparred over the philosophical reasons behind keeping or eliminating nuclear arsenals. The event was won by a debater from Carmel High School.

Public Forum saw similar results as Lincoln-Douglas. Grace Whah and Emily Krygoske were defeated in the Quarterfinals by the eventual state champions from Bloomington South. In a string of coincidental bad luck, this is the third consecutive year that Whah has drawn the state champion in the quarterfinal round. Nick Hanson and Tim Wheeler also made the top eight, but fell in the quarterfinals on a split decision. Sam Burris and Luke Vetroczky finished as octa finalists. For the past month, the public forum team has analyzed whether it is time to eliminate US sanctions on Venezuela.

After West Lafayetteís 67.5 points came Munster in third with 50.5; followed by Carmel (36.5) and Fishers (33.5).

The Chesterton policy team is coached by Social Studies teacher Chris Lowery. Lincoln-Douglas and public forum are coached by Social Studies teacher Joshua Coots. The world school team is coached by Special Education instructor Tim Young. Congressional debate is jointly coached by Lowery and Young; while CHS alumni Kaley Brown (policy) and Aaron Drew (public forum) have offered ample assistance to the staff and students throughout the year.

Also competing for CHS at the State finals were Ben Hoham and Hattie Hoham (policy), Ian Quinn (LD), Alexis Ioannidis and Sidney Pittman (PF), and the team of Hamza Sahli, Jakson Jessen, Ethan Kroft, Riste Miroski, and Shae Hisaw (World School).

Teammates Avery McCurdy, Megan Nowka, and Riley Hawksworth observed and assisted teammates throughout the weekend; alumni Andrea Drygas, Katherine Bolek, Kalina Smith, Victoria Lahti, Ryan Day, and Katelyn Balakir judged and assisted throughout the weekend. Parents of CHS debaters Neil Burris and Jim Vincent also served as judges for the team.



Posted 1/27/2020




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