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Speech, Debate members to compete at Nationals

Photo by CRYSTAL HUANG 

by NICOLE KWAN 

Speech and Debate team members will make their 28th appearance at Nationals June 12-17 at Salt Lake City, Utah.

Debaters will compete in National Qualifier for Congress, March 18 and 19 at Gabrielino High School competition will be juniors Fidencio Jimenez, William Kunkle, Solon Tan, Charles Vuong and Jimmy Yee, sophomores Diego Avila, and freshmen Daisy Castillo, George Jimenez, Joanna Lei and Kelvin Torres. Students who place third or higher will qualify for Nationals.

After competing in the National Qualifier at San Marino High School March 11, Arianna Campos, senior, Kunkle and Nowreen Rahman, sophomore and Speech captain, will advance to Nationals.

“I feel really excited about competing in Nationals, but at the same time nervous because there’s an opportunity where I could succeed and an opportunity where I could fail,” said Campos.

Tony Ugalde, Speech and Debate director, chose students to compete in the National Qualifier based on work ethic and performance. Campos participated in Dramatic Interpretation; Kassady Garrison, sophomore, and Arthur Kozloyan, senior, competed in Humorous Interpretation; Kunkle and Rahman competed in Oratory, while Tan participated in International Extemporaneous.

Novice and varsity debaters hosted and competed in the State Qualifier Debates for Congress, March 5-6 at Schurr. Tan placed fifth in Congress.

“I feel honored to be a part of this wonderful team because of the friendly environment. I don’t like competing, but I like participating in my event,” said Tan.

At the State Qualifier, students competed at Cal State Long Beach Feb. 27 and 28. Kozloyan placed fifth in Humorous Interpretation, while Kunkle placed second in National Extemporaneous.

“To overcome my fear and nervousness at the National Qualifier, I basically just reviewed all my practice sessions before the round, calmed down and breathed before I went. I hope to improve by slowing down when I speak and become more personable to the audience,” said Kunkle.

Speech and Debate team members will fundraise by hosting the 16th annual Spartan Aloha Classic, a Southern California Speech and Debate League competition, April 2-3. Students from 23 high schools will be attending.

“I was reinvigorated by the talent and love of these young people as they found a way to unite the will of the spirit with the work of the flesh,” said Ugalde.

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