Speech and Debate continue to improve in competition season


Entering the midst of speech season, the Speech and Debate team will be competing at the Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez Winter Classic Tournament at Fullerton Joint Union High School tomorrow.

Students recently competed at the Fall Varsity tournament at Arroyo High School, Dec. 13, which is the first of two main league tournaments. The team won Division 2 sweepstakes. The competition was comprised of three preliminary rounds and a final.

In Original Oratory, senior Amanda Armendariz and junior Destinee Moya placed first and second, respectively. Senior Kane Tenorio placed second in Congressional Extemp, while senior Brian Salvanera placed fifth in Humorous Interpretation. Sophomore Solon Tan placed seventh in International Extemporaneous Speaking, while sophomore William Kunkle and senior Cassandra Dinh placed third and fifth, respectively. Dinh also placed seventh in Original Advocacy, along with senior Melissa Vasquez placing fourth. Senior Edward Kunkle and Armendariz received first and third, respectively, in Dramatic Interpretation.

Seven students also placed as finalists in General Interpretation. Juniors Isabella Benavides, David Lima, Arthur Kozloyan and Christa Martinez, sophomore Jordan Kunishima and freshmen Michael Martinez and Nowreen Rahman swept the category.

“From the first tournament to now, we have improved immensely,” said Armendariz. “It’s only a matter of continuing the hard work and staying motivated until the very end that will make us a truly great team.”

The team also competed at the La Costa Canyon Winter Classic in San Diego, Dec. 5-7. With 10 semifinalists and five finalists, the team received the first place sweepstakes for the speech events.

The tournament champions included E. Kunkle in Dramatic Interpretation, Salvanera in Expository Speaking and senior Saskia Sani in Original Oratory. Armendariz placed second in Original Oratory, while Sani received third in Dramatic Interpretation.

The tournament allowed students to qualify for a bid to the National Individual Events Tournament of Champions (NIETOC), held in Nebraska, May 8-10. Students were able to qualify by advancing to the semifinals of each event. Six students qualified to NIETOC in Dramatic Interpretation and five in Original Oratory.

At the Fall Debate tournament at Crescenta Valley High School Nov. 22, the team of Dinh and junior Darlene Lie placed fifth in Parliamentary Debate. Tenorio, along with juniors Victor Cuevas and Alexander Xia, were finalists in Congressional Speaking. Novice and JV members of the team competed at the Fall Novice tournament at Gabrielino High School, Nov. 15. Salvanera and freshman Kassady Garrison received trophies, while several other students received superior and excellent ribbons.

Several team members competed at the Bargain Belt Invitational at Claremont High School, Nov. 1. In Original Oratory, seniors Christopher Hernandez, Alexandria Valenzuela and Vasquez placed first, fourth and fifth, respectively. E. Kunkle and junior Arianna Campos received first and third, respectively, in Dramatic Interpretation. W. Kunkle placed first in Extemporaneous Speaking and was a finalist in Congressional Speaking. The team of Hernandez and Valenzuela placed third in Duo Interpretation, while Salvanera received second in Expository Speaking and Tan received third in Extemporaneous Speaking.

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