by SHARON PHU & SASKIA SANI
Reaching the most important tournaments of their season, the Speech and Debate team will compete at the Southern California Debate League state qualifier tournament at California State University, Long Beach, Feb 28.
Novice team members will also compete at the Spring Novice tournament at Long Beach Polytechnic High School tomorrow.
At the Cal Invitational held at University of California, Berkeley, the team competed against almost 500 students from around the state and country. In a pool of around 200 students in each event, there were four rounds to break into.
Seniors Amanda Armendariz and Saskia Sani advanced to the octofinal round in both Dramatic Interpretation and Original Oratory. Armendariz later moved forward to the quarterfinal round in Original Oratory, while Sani advanced in Dramatic Interpretation.
Sophomore William Kunkle advanced to the octofinal round of Extemporaneous Speaking, while senior Javion Sun advanced to the quarterfinals in Impromptu Speaking. Senior Kane Tenorio placed 18th in Congressional Debate, while senior Cassandra Dinh placed fourth in Extemporaneous Speaking. Seniors Christopher Hernandez and Brian Salvanera placed seventh in Original Oratory and sixth in Expository Speaking, respectively.
“Looking at what the team accomplished at the Cal Invitational, I can only be optimistic and hopeful for the rest of the speech season,” said Director of Forensics Tony Ugalde. “I am convinced we will leave no doubt that we are among the best not only locally, but throughout the state and nationally as well.”
By advancing past quarterfinals, Armendariz, Dinh and Hernandez also received their bids to the National Tournament of Champions for Individual Events and Extemporaneous Speaking.
“It was amazing to see my teammates go head-to-head with state and national finalists yet still come out on top,” said Dinh. “The speech season isn’t over yet, and our performance this weekend was only a taste of greater things to come.”