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Speech, Debate members compete in championships

Photo courtesy of MICHAEL MARTINEZ 

by CRYSTAL HUANG

With their season coming to an end, the Speech and Debate team will compete today and tomorrow at Novice Championships, hosted by Alhambra and Gabrielino High Schools.

Novice Championships will include one day of debate today at Alhambra High School and one day of individual events at Gabrielino. The tournament will involve all the novices in Congress competing in three rounds, while individual events will also have three rounds, leading to the top seven advancing to the final round.

The Speech and Debate team competed in State Championships April 14-18 at Mission College in Santa Clara. Students who qualified were seniors Arthur Kozloyan, Lead Captain Destinee Moya, and juniors William Kunkle and Solon Tan.

Students who competed in Congress qualified for State Championships March 5-6 at Schurr High School. Competitors in individual events qualified Feb. 27-28 at Cal State Long Beach College.

State Championships included three rounds, semi-finals and a finals round. Qualifiers were top 56 of over 300 who competed in each event.

Kozloyan competed in Humourous Interpretation, Moya competed in Original Oratory, Kunkle competed in National Extemporaneous Speaking and Tan competed in Congress.

“As a first-time competitor at States, it was really interesting watching other competitors and their different speaking styles. It was also interesting to see the different tastes that the judges had, compared to the judges here in Southern California,” said Moya.

Kunkle was the only one who broke into semi-finals, and he finished fifteenth place in National Extemporaneous Speaking.

“This year’s State Tournament felt a bit more relaxed, as opposed to last year, because it was not my first time competing in States,” said Kunkle. “It was also nice to compete against those who are considered to be the best in the state.”

Despite their season coming to an end, the team still practices throughout the week and works individually with coaches and, occasionally, captains.

“I love getting the opportunity to help kids realize potential they may have never even known they had. I love the moment when they get it and it clicks. Ultimately, my biggest job as a coach is to help them find their voice,” said Lexi Tippings, alumna and coach. The students have definitely improved; the degree to which they have is relative to how hard they have worked this year. I have seen so much growth, and I try to remind them of that.”

The team will also be hosting A Night of a Thousand Laughs in the auditorium May 6 at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $5 from any team member, or at the door.

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