Speech, debate hosts Aloha, succeed at National qualifier
scby SASKIA SANI
Ending their league season and approaching national circuit tournaments, the Speech and Debate team hosted the 15th annual Spartan Aloha Classic Invitational April 11-12.
This year’s event will include a second day of debate, in addition to the first day of speech events, and is a precursor for the California State Tournament at Vista Murrieta High School April 17-19.
Several students competed at the East Los Angeles National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) District National Qualifying tournament for Congress at Gabrielino High School March 21. Senior Kane Tenorio placed third and sophomore Solon Tan placed fifth.
At the East Los Angeles NSDA District National Qualifying tournament for individual events held at San Marino March 13-14, seven students qualified for the National Championships to be held in Dallas, TX, June 14-19.
In order to qualify, competitors had to place as the top three speakers in their events. Senior Javion Sun will attend the National Tournament in International Extemporaneous Speaking, and seniors Chris Hernandez and Alexandria Valenzuela will compete together in Duo Interpretation.
Seniors Edward Kunkle and Saskia Sani will compete in Dramatic Interpretation. Senior Cassandra Dinh and sophomore William Kunkle will participate in National Extemporaneous Speaking.
Along with the qualifiers, six other students were finalists at the tournament. Finalists include senior Amanda Armendariz in Dramatic Interpretation, senior Brian Salvanera in Humorous Interpretation and Tan in International Extemporaneous Speaking. Semifinalists include junior Arthur Kozloyan in Humorous Interpretation, as well as Duo Interpretation with his partner, freshman Kassady Garrison. Other semifinalists include Armendariz, Hernandez and Sani in Original Oratory.
Sani was also awarded the NSDA District Student of the Year.
“This national qualifier was a demonstration of the heart and talent of our team,” said Tony Ugalde, head coach. “There is some work to be done, but I am convinced we can compete with anybody and everybody at Nationals.”